August 7, 2009

TIPS: Potty Training Ideas, Links and Suggestions

Potty Training Tips:

(tweeted out on Friday, August 7, 2009)

– Compiled by Shara Lawrence-Weiss (owner of Mommy Perks)

I’ve taught several children to potty train during my nanny and parenting years. Hopefully my tips will help. Here we go…

*Please remember that these tips are simply based on my personal experience with children and may not reflect all possible training tips available.

  • All children learn @ different times & @ different paces. Be patient. Your child may be ‘typical’ or might need ‘unique’ ideas.
  • Boys LOVE to aim at Froot Loops. They are more colorful than Cheerios & boys think it’s hilarious to aim and shoot. Make it a game for them.
  • Girls like positive reinforcement (verbal and stickers). Use candy sparingly (dental visits/sugar). Girls are typically very VERBALLY motivated.
  • Set a potty in the living room or family room. Right there in the open so they get used to seeing it, sitting on it, b/coming familiar with it.
  • Set a potty in the bedroom or outside on the patio if needed. Make it fun – kids thrive on games and playfulness.
  • Some kids train better if you use cloth diapers so if you feel inclined, give that a shot (I used cloth with PINS for 13 months!)
  • Buy “big girl” or “big boy” underpants as an incentive. Go shopping w/child & make it FUN! Yay! Big boy/girl pants just for YOU!
  • For kids who refuse to train, it might relate to a power struggle. Use reverse psychology on these kids. Can work wonders for them.
  • For the power struggle kids, offer “big kid” rewards such as staying up 10 min. extra at night or a trip to the park, zoo, etc.
  • Fill a jar with marbles. Each time they go in the potty, one marble is dropped (by the CHILD). Fun. Clink. When full, give reward (it will take a while for the jar to fill so the reward should be something pretty big like a day at the Zoo, a fishing trip, etc)
  • Some kids won’t poop on toilet for fear of water splashing. Reassure them; it’s not to fear. Can easily be wiped off, etc.
  • Some kids won’t use big potty b/c it’s too high and they are scared. Purchase a ground model that can be moved from room to room.
  • Some children WANT to be on the “grown up” potty so allow them that freedom. Don’t force a ground model on them.
  • Some children respond well to simple behavior mod books about potty training. Find free ones at your local library.
  • Other children respond better to custom stories making them the “Superhero of the Loo!” (or princess, etc). Check out:
  • Idea from @Louiseasl : Use food coloring in the toilet bowl water for ‘magic water’! Potty training & color recognition in one!
  • Don’t be afraid to try variations of ALL methods until you find what works. No ONE WAY is ever the ONLY way with potty training.
  • For boys…check out for the mom invented toilet shield! Can be wiped clean & flips up or down. Way cool.
  • Very important: never get angry. That will delay & scare your child. They WILL learn. I have yet to meet a 40 yr old who isn’t trained.
  • Check out and for TONS of articles on training, tips, guides, charts and more.
  • Jon & Kate Plus 8 endorsed this potty training chart: $9.99 (she is one of my advertisers, too, BTW)
  • For kids who want to use the big potty, simply purchase a seat cover for them. Walmart, Babies R’ Us. Usually runs around $6-10.

Last thought for now: Just make it fun. Make it personalized. Make it work for your child whatever you need to do. Every child is different!

Oh…also! Our daughter LOVES to have a book in hand when pretending to use her potty. Reading…like daddy does (sorry honey).

Really, though…pick what works best for your own situation and just ‘go with the flow’ 🙂


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