Preparing for Potty Training

Getting ready to Potty Train

How do you know if a child is ready? We offer a free online potty training readiness test which will give you an indication if your child is ready or not.

If your child is ready to be potty trained then you can begin right away. We have compiled a list of things you need to get started (see below). The most important thing on that list is patience.

If your child is not yet ready then there are some things that you can do to start getting ready. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics most children are not physically ready until they are at least 18 months old. When children are around one they will start to recognize the need to urinate or have a bowel movement but they will still not be physically capable of delaying this until they reach the toilet or potty. Your goal, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics is to strengthen your child’s awareness of the feeling of needing to go and to encourage her to see potty training as a desirable skill. When your child has wet or soiled her diaper they recommend that you change it right away to reinforce the concept that bowel movements and urine should be removed from the body and discarded. On the other hand, they mention that there is no need to comment negatively such as describing the contents as dirty or smelly. Mention positive things about how good it feels and smells to be clean and dry.

Encourage your child to sit on the potty while fully clothed. This will enable him to get acquainted with it and prepare himself. When the time comes it will be a little more familiar which will make it easier for him.

There are many potty books and DVDs available to help your child get prepared for the process. Read and watch them together.

 What do you need to get started?

 The first two items are required (patience and potty/step stool for the toilet). The rest of the items are nice to have and will make things a little easier for you both.

  • Patience
  • Potty or toilet and step stool
  • Potty training pants – buy these in a bigger size than you need. It makes it a lot easier to put them on and take them off.
  • Potty training chart – Potty training charts help track your child’s process which is very motivating. Many toddlers find them very helpful. There is a large free selection on this site so give them a try. Try to find one that your toddler loves.
  • There are many books and DVDs available to help your child along.
  • Disposable training pants for night time (night time potty training often takes months longer than day time).
  • Plastic mattress cover to prevent accidents while sleeping
  • Small toys and stickers to play with while sitting on the potty.
  • Potty training plan
  • Diploma – once your child is successfully potty trained print a diploma to congratulate him or her. They are all free to print and will make your child feel very proud! And she/he should be!
  • More patience…
  • Even more patience!

What can you do to make the potty training process run smoothly?

Only start when your toddler is ready (did you take our free online potty training readiness test?)

Encourage your child to dress and undress himself

Make sure that your child’s clothing is easy to remove

Offer the child things to play with while he’s sitting on the toilet or potty and waiting for a bowel movement to occur.