10 steps to successful potty training

June 18, 2012
I can remember when Roo was a toddler thinking about when best to start potty training. I must admit it was a task  was not looking forward to. The thought of trying to get her to understand when she needs the potty to either ask or just sit on it herself was just terrifying to me. I did over estimate how many knickers I would need… I think I had approx 50 pairs! My thinking was that she would have say 10 accidents a day, plus a day or two to allow for washing and drying etc. Obviously I didn’t really need half as many.
Although Tigger is not ready to start potty training just yet (he’s only just mastering walking so one step at a time!), I am already thinking about it. I’m a girl I sit on the toilet, whilst I realise that to start with he will be sitting on the potty but how on earth to I teach him to pee standing up?? Mr Boo will have to try and explain this one to me as I have no idea.
One thing I didn’t do with Roo was a reward chart and looking back I wish I had. As she has gotten older and that when either myself, childcare or her school have used a reward chart that the outcome is usually much better. I imagine this is because she can see that when she does whatever is tasked she gains a sticker plus seeing the chart on the wall is a sense of achievement too.
Chart and Sticker
Below are 10 steps to successfully potty train using the My Big Star Chart as a rewarding tool for kids.
1. Make sure your child is ready
Signs of readiness consist of your child staying dry for at least a couple of hours, they show an interest in bathroom activities, they take themselves to a quiet place or tell you when they are doing something. Summer is the ideal time to potty train – less clothes are worn and time spent outside make the little accidents easier to deal with.
2. Plan for it
Potty training is a process that will require a lot effort, not only from yourself but from friends, family members and carers involved with your child. Purchase your My Big Star Chart in advance of starting the process. Decide upon a date from which you will all start – it is from this date you say good bye to nappies during the day.
3. Set up your chart
Hang your My Big Star Chart in a clear, visible place. This will be a central focus for you and your child to work from. Place the potty training sticker in the top position of the chart. Let your child know that this will be their special sticker for using their potty and they can earn lots of rewards. You may like to add some other activities to the chart too.
4. Teamwork
Consistency and routine from all involved will help your child reach their goal. You may like to forewarn visitors of your efforts so they can be positive and encourage as you do. Forwarding these notes to those people who look after your child in your absence will help them to achieve the same goal. Children will love showing friends and family their chart.
5. Actively involve your child with their potty
You may like to take your child on a shopping trip to choose their potty – which colour would they like? Is there a character one they particularly like? Tell them it will be their own special potty, they may even like to choose a name for it. Decorating the potty with stickers will help them take ownership of it. You may like to demonstrate their special toy using the potty.
6. Prepare your child
Encourage your child to sit on their potty before they properly start using it, practice putting on pants and washing their hands to complete the task. It is at this point you should start praising and rewarding your child with a smiley face reward sticker, remember to tell them how well they are doing.
7. Don’t rush your child when they use the potty
Let them look at a book, or listen to short story for a few quiet moments when sitting on the potty. Blowing bubbles is another great way to encourage them to sit still. Tell them it is a good try and well done for sitting nicely even if they don’t achieve anything, again reward them with a smiley face sticker for their efforts.
8. Be patient, positive and consistent
Be patient, potty training does not happen over night. Positive interaction will help your child achieve their new skill, and feel good about their progress. Accidents will happen but continue to keep up the routine, when you choose not to use nappies – stick with it! Going back and forth between nappies and pants gives your child a confused message. If you experience naughtiness or defiance – stay calm, ignore it, do not reward.
9. On the go
Long journeys will take slightly more preparation than usual. You will need to make more regular stops so make sure you leave enough travelling time. Pack all familiar supplies including books and toys when using the potty on route. You may like to take some reward stickers for the journey – children love wearing these.
10. Achieving success
In a short space of time you will start to see great results. Use the enclosed gold star reward stickers to reward when your child does exceptionally well such as asking to use the potty, using the potty of their own accord, remembering to wash their hands, choosing to use the grown-up toilet. We wish you every success!
My Big Star Chart is available to purchase online at www.VictoriaChartCompany.co.uk for £12.50.

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