Successful Potty Training: 5 Rules to Live By

Almost all parents want their kids potty trained and out of diapers as soon as possible. They bribe their children with cool undies and sticker charts and even themed potties to try to get results.

What parents fail to realize is that this type of training makes children primed from an early age to hold pee and poop, which eventually catches up with them and can cause health problems down the line.

If your child is struggling to use the toilet, it’s for one of three reasons:

  1. They are too young.
  2. They are full of poop.
  3. They are too young and full of poop.

Before we get to the 5 rules, here are some tips:

  • Girls typically learn to use the potty faster than boys while second children usually learn faster than firstborns.
  • Figure out the best equipment for potty training before you go shopping.
  • If you settle for an adapter seat, ensure it’s secure and comfortable. You will also need a stool for your child to go up and down the toilet.

Do you want to help your child avoid future bed wetting and constipation problems? Here are the 5 rules of successful potty training…

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#1 – Your child poops mushy stool daily before you start potty training.

If your child poops pellets or logs, they are constipated. Children’s poop should be completely mushy. One reason children hide poop or are afraid of the toilet is because they are clogged up and experience pain while pooping.

#2 – Your child feels no pressure.

Children don’t need to be taught how to use the toilet. What they need are supportive parents who facilitate the toilet learning process. If your child feels pressured to use the potty they may become fearful of it, or simply resist to assert their ownership of their own body as young children are inclined to do.

#3 – Your child is around 3 years old and no younger than 2.

Children who are potty trained younger than 2 have triple the risk of developing wetting problems when they grow older. In reality, most children under 3 haven’t developed the capacity to respond to their body’s urge to poop or pee so they become holders. This is a developmental process. Don’t rush it, no matter how badly you want them out of diapers.

#4 – Your child continues to poop mush once potty training begins.

If your child’s poops stop being mushy and become pellets or logs, stop all potty training until constipation stops. Yes, you need to look in the toilet every time your child poops to determine this.

#5 – You’re not seeing the “potty dance.”

Regular emptying of the bladder leads to healthy bladder growth. Holding urine irritates the bladder and shrinks its capacity. Your child should pee every few hours without resorting to the squirming, crotch grabbing, or curtsying that is referred to as the “potty dance”.

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Here’s a bonus tip…Demonstrate!

Children learn by imitation. It will be easier to learn how to use the potty if they are used to seeing their family members do it. Teach your son how to pee sitting down first. Once he’s mastered it, let him watch his father or older brothers and he’ll figure it out really quickly how to do it standing up, with a little encouragement. Young children always want to do what the big folks are doing!

When your child consistently seeks the potty whenever they need to go, you can move on to big kid underwear.

Don’t pressure them. Don’t rush them. Don’t hound them, constantly checking in to see if they need to use the potty. Let them come to it on their own, and subtly reinforce pride in your child’s achievement so as to encourage them to keep using the potty.

Is your child potty trained yet? How old were they when you started training and how long did it take for them to figure it out? Please share in the comments section.

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