Potty training.... For some of us, we look forward to the days of no longer having to change diapers. For others, we dread the day our baby takes one more step towards being a "big kid." For all of us - its typically a challenge!
Here is our list of the Top Five Potty Training Tips:
5) The Naked Game - Many parents have found that wearing no diaper and no clothes can create a greater awareness of having to go to the bathroom. To use this strategy, dedicate a weekend to the initial training, and let your child go naked for extended periods of time. Before bath time is often a good place to start. Once the naked potty use is mastered, start adding the clothes back. First big kid undies, and then pants.
4) Target Practice - For those of us with boys in the house, it doesn't take long to figure out that aiming is a problem. Turn this obstacle into a game - it not only encourages potty use, but it helps get them going in the right direction. Take a few cheerios, they float nicely, and encourage your son to aim at them.
3) Praise - No better way to encourage a child to do anything than positive reinforcement. Give your child plenty of undivided attention, love and praise. Each time you have a successful potty, go overboard with the attention and praise. Children want to please and the additional excitement you create will help encourage going to the potty.
2) Stickers - A reward system is a great means to encourage potty training. Stickers seem to be a very popular choice. Create a board in the bathroom and reward your child with a sticker with each successful trip to the potty. Another popular alternative is covering a child's clothes with a sticker after each trip. This can create a constant reminder of the reward and help to remember to go to the potty with the need arises.
1) Bribes - when all else fails, a bribe is a fabulous option. M & M's always seem to be a popular choice. Promise your child each time they go to the bathroom they get some M & M's. If your child has another favorite, go with that. Many parents have had success keeping a reward jar in the bathroom filled with treats. With each successful potty, they can choose one.
No matter which strategy you choose, stay consistent and constantly encourage. Positive reinforcement, no matter what behavior you are encouraging, is a magical thing.
Let us know any other tips you may have and best of luck!