Gaining independence: How to teach my child to use the potty?

If you have noticed that your baby is ready to start learning how to use the potty, that’s awesome! Say goodbye to diapers and hello to the toilet. You and your little one will embark on a wonderful adventure and accomplish a major milestone in his development.

Knowing that potty training is not an easy task; we provide you with tips recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

• First of all, make sure that if you decide to start, it’s the right time for you and your little one. Avoid training when you are too busy, moving to a new house, welcoming a new baby in the family, etc.
• Invite your child to choose his own potty. You can even decorate it together so he feels less intimidated and motivated to use it.
• Place the potty in his bedroom or the bathroom nearest to him.
• Begin sitting your little one on the potty with his clothes on so he gets a feel on what it’s like to sit on it. While he’s seated, talk to him about the toilet, its use and how to sit properly on it.
• Give your child a chance to sit on the toilet when he shows interest, even if it is with his pants on. When he shows confidence try to sit him without a diaper. Remind him to keep his feet on the floor and tell him that what he did in the diaper now must be deposited in the potty.
• Incorporate sitting on the potty in your child’s daily routine, and gradually increase the times he sits on it.
• As he masters the potty routine, you can change his diaper on the potty and deposit his bowel movements in it so that he further understands his use.
• When your baby understands the process, place the potty where he plays and let him be a while without a diaper, motivating him to use the potty if he needs to.
• As he gets used to the potty let him play near the it with clothes and underwear. This way if he has an accident, he’ll realize that it’s uncomfortable.
• Remember to congratulate him if he uses the toilet successfully, but don’t scold him if he has an accident as this will only stress him out.
• When you see your child is using the potty, change the diaper to underwear but only during the day. Learning to control his bowels at night or naptime takes longer. Instead, motivate your little one to use the toilet before going to sleep and at waking.

Remember not to punish or shame your child if he has an accident, instead use positive reinforcement and encourage him as much as possible. Remind him that this is a natural and necessary fact, not something dirty or something to feel ashamed about. You can perform various activities to make the training fun such as decorating the potty or reading and drawing on it while sitting and waiting.

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