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Potty Training Tips for Beginners

Sick of changing diapers? Use these proven potty training tips for beginners to move things along.

By Stephanie GladwellPublished 7 years ago 4 min read

One of the things that parents really detest doing is changing diapers — and who can blame them? Human feces isn't exactly the nicest part of having a baby. Thankfully, kids can actually get potty trained relatively quickly.

If you're having a hard time potty training your toddler or if this is your oldest child, don't worry. It's actually fairly common to get frustrated with this time in your child's life.

These helpful potty training tips for beginners might be able to help you make sure that your diaper-changing days are done.

First off, be patient.

Patience is key, here.

This is one of those potty training tips for beginners that most people underplay. Your child will mess up — and they can't really help that. In most cases, children will have a learning curve when it comes to figuring out when they need to go to the bathroom.

When you're in the bathroom with your child, you may need to wait a while for them to actually be able to poop or pee. This is totally normal. Some parents even say that they had to wait as long as half an hour to poop or pee.

Bribery and motivation isn't a bad thing.

One of the best potty training tips for beginners you'll hear is the importance of offering motivation. If a kid doesn't feel motivated to be potty trained, they will not want to comply with you.

Thankfully, motivating them is fairly easy.

A lot of kids will work extra hard at potty training if you give them cool underwear, offer them a treat after they go for a day without an accident, or even just a penny for every time they go. After all, kids love to earn rewards.

It's also important to realize that negative reinforcement can also play a huge role in their willingness to learn how to use a toilet. Things like having them sit for a minute in a soiled diaper might actually make them understand why potty training is important — and may help them realize that they don't want to go to the bathroom in diapers forever.

With boys, using bits of cereal for "target practice" in the toilet can help him aim.

No parent ever wants to hear the phrase, "I missed."

Unfortunately, if you're a parent to a baby boy, you will probably hear it at least once. However, there are potty training tips for beginners that can help you improve your kid's aim.

We all know that boys love to try to aim, but that they miss when they're being potty trained. Cheerios can help them find a target, and if you really want to ensure they don't miss, you can offer them a prize when they hit the target.

It's important to find ways to help curb kids' fear of the potty.

You would be surprised at how many kids are afraid to go to the potty, and part of potty training often means that you need to help them overcome this fear.

Sadly, many potty training tips for beginners don't really tell you HOW to make it happen. After all, every child is different and will have different fears. But, there are still some things you can try:

  • Ask them why they are afraid, and debunk their fears. A lot of kids think that their poop is a part of themselves that they're flushing away. Showing your kids a book on anatomy can easily teach them what the truth is.
  • If it's a fear of the loud noise of a toilet flushing, using little white lies can help you get your child to be okay with it. Saying things like the toilet noise scares away toilet monsters might help them cope with it.
  • On the other hand, if it's a fear of the smell, tell them that potty training will make the smell go away faster. It's a good way to make them flush quickly, wipe up, and just deal with the yucky nature of potty training.

Consider going cold turkey off diapers.

One of the newer potty training tips for beginners floating around the net involves just going cold turkey. This often is the best approach if the kid's clearly ready to be toilet trained, but doesn't seem to want to follow through completely.

A lot of kids will realize that their diaper days are over if they're given underwear instead of diapers. If you tell them that they have to use the potty now, then they will often just start using the potty.

Consistency is key.

The best potty training tips for beginners all involve consistency — and it's easy to see why. Kids thrive on consistency, and if they are consistently told it's time to use the potty, they will get into a habit of using it.

Meanwhile, if you keep vacillating from diapers to potties, your kid might get confused and just stick to what they know best. The sooner you make things constant, the better off you and your kiddo will be.

Lastly, most parents agree that you have to wait until your child is ready to potty train before training can be successful.

Most kids will give indicators that they are ready to potty train. They may start communicating when they're ready to pee or poop. They may start to ask about the toilet, may pull at soiled diapers, or might even go into hiding in order to poop.

If you notice that your kid's exhibiting signs that they are ready to potty train, take a hint. All the potty training tips for beginners we've given you will be way more effective — and that means your toddler will be potty trained, and ready for preschool.


About the Creator

Stephanie Gladwell

Mother of two, educator of many. Teaches middle-school biology and chemistry. Always interested in exploring the unknown.

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    Stephanie GladwellWritten by Stephanie Gladwell

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