originally published 4.07
How did you potty train when you knew the time had come?
As with everything - there is not one right way because every child is so different so here are five different ideas to use in combination or individually (just be sure you have talked the entire process out with your child and they know the plan...)
1. "Potty Present" Whatever you child loves the most (books, Spiderman, plastic jewelry) - buy it and wrap it. It will become a special "potty present" - not to get for going potty - but something they are only allowed to unwrap and subsequently use on the potty. This will help get past the initial fear of sitting on the potty - and you child may want to just sit there for hours the first few days. And if you give them enough liquids they will go while they are sitting there.
2. "Pants Off" I have known several parents use the "pants off" method (the unofficial name for letting your child run around sans underwear). Diapers are so genius these days, that most kids don't even know when they are peeing - the wetness is indeed whisked away as the commercials promise. So, by letting them run around "pants off" they suddenly become aware. And when it happens you just hurry them in and help them go. Some books claim a day of this will do the trick...I'm not so optimistic - and its a pain to clean up - but it does work (much better if you have hardwood).
3. "Potty Bears" This was my personal favorite. When James went potty - he got one gummy bear for liquid and two for solid - it was the only way we were able to stretch one day into many successful days.
4. "Pull-Ups" The newest pull-ups have an added liner to help your child feel the wetness. Because of the diaper problem I mentioned above - this is a really great first step to help with recognition.
5. "Potty Party" Throw the biggest part for a child's doll - after spending time with the doll and congratulating the doll for using the toilet (make sure you really pretend to hold the doll over the toilet - the modeling is important). Sometimes the hardest thing (especially for a first child) is they don't have anyone to copy - anyhow - make sure your party has a cake - because what party doesn't have a cake.
I'm not with Freud in thinking that if you potty train too early or too late there are disastrous consequences. Do it when its right for you and your child - because you really have to stick to it - no going back even if it means packing seventeen extra socks & underwear & pants - it really stinks! But the rewards are genius!