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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tips for Potty Training

Timing is everything when it comes to potty training. No one can tell anyone else the right time to begin potty training a toddler, but time is the most important factor in helping your child through this process.

I had the pleasure of helping to potty train my youngest granddaughter this summer. She turned two-years-old in May and had begun to go off by herself when she needed to go potty. In her own way, she was letting her parents know that she understood that going potty is both personal and private. Her efforts to seek privacy when nature called was also an indication that she was ready to be trained. That timing or readiness is different for each child and for each family.

What was most instrumental in my granddaughter’s potty training was that the family had to be ready also. The time had to be right. Her parents and other caregivers had to be ready to actively engage in the training process, providing her with persistence, consistency, and praise for her efforts. The adults in her life had to be willing to sacrifice their time in helping her learn this basic human need.

Our potty training sessions took place over nine days. Her parents and teachers at her childcare facility had begun the process because they knew she was ready. My task was to complete it. Each day began with her wearing cotton undergarments and loose-fitting clothes that made it easy for her to use the potty. I watched the time and decided that I would ask her every 15-20 minutes if she needed to use the potty. In other words, I trained myself to be observant of time, her fluid intake, and her possible need to go to the potty. We also established a waste disposal and hand washing routine followed by praise from everyone in the house. The praise kept her excited.

By the end of our time together, she was fully trained. Yes, there was still the occasional accident, but she had begun to take tremendous pride in using her potty, washing her hands, and receiving praise. Our family was pleased and excited for her, and everyone talked about what a big girl she was. As a family, this time with my granddaughter proved to be the best potty time ever.

Veda Pendleton McClain is a mother, grandmother, author, and educator. She recently released her second book on parenting titled, Your Presence Is Requested. It is available through or at .


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