How NOT to Potty Train Your Child

how not to potty train toddler

Everyone likes to make potty training out as this simple thing that you can get taken care of in an afternoon between naps. But real, non-TV sitcom parents know that it’s just not that simple.

And for all the talk you hear about everything you should be doing, few ever actually mention what you should NOT be doing. There are very clear and certain things you need to avoid, or you could be killing your child’s chances at success.

Now, why don’t we go over what those things to NOT do are?

Don’t ask if they need to go

Many of us will fall into the trap of asking our child if they need to go potty and accepting their answer. But until you’ve child is actually potty trained, they are not capable and can’t be trusted with making those decisions.

Rather than asking if they need to go potty, tell them to go and sit for a set period of time (5-10 minutes) and don’t give them a choice in the matter. Use a timer if needed. You might be met with some resistance, in which case having a potty training rewards basket to motivate them could help.

Oftentimes, they won’t need to go but getting used to sitting on the potty will help you make the whole thing seem more normal to them. And for the times they’re surprised and DO need to go, you’ve saved yourself an accident cleanup!

Don’t leave them alone in the bathroom

While we might use the bathroom in private with the door closed, this can be scary or confusing for a child who’s learning to potty train. Take away the fear and confusion by leaving the door open and sitting with them while they’re on the potty.

You can read a potty training book for boys or girls, or sing a song together while you wait. Leaving the door open when it’s not in use might also encourage them to use it on their own when they start to understand how it feels when they need to go.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on them

Children going through the potty training stages are fond of tearing off dirty diapers, or worse tearing off a clean one and letting it all go right there on the floor. Many parents have found this out the hard way, so be sure to keep an extra close eye on your little one during this time.

Don’t forget your potty training bag

The last thing you want when you’re out and about with your child is to realize they’ve had an accident and you’ve forget your diaper or potty training bag. Being left high and NOT dry is something you’ll both hate, and will probably cause a tantrum.

Make sure to make yourself a bag that always leave the house with you and your child. In your bag, you should have changes of clothes (IMPORTANT), small rewards for success, and things like wipes and hand sanitizer.

Don’t give them too many pre-bed drinks

The best way to ensure dry nights is by limiting the amount of fluids your child drinks in the hours leading up to bedtime. After all, the less that goes in, the less that could possibly go out during the night.

Start tapering off the drinks you give your child in the three hours or so before bedtime. Make sure to have them go sit on the potty before bed, and stay there for about 5-10 minutes at least.

If your child really wants something to drink before bed, something like milk is a good option because it won’t go right through them like water or juice. The protein and nutrients in milk will take more time to digest, giving you a better chance of seeing a dry morning.

Don’t lose your patience

Some children will take very quickly to potty training, but for others things will be more challenging. It’s very important that you not let the frustration get the best of you. Keep your cool and be persistent.

Properly motivate your child with rewards, help them understand everything, and give them plenty of time on the potty and soon things will click for them. They’ll learn eventually, but getting angry or frustrated will just make them want to stop trying.

Keep them on the right path by being encouraging and remaining calm. You’re not the first parent who’s had trouble with potty training a stubborn child, after all. One mom had the same problem and was able to successfully train her child. She made a video to explain how that you can watch here.

So I hope that learning a few of things NOT to do will put you on the path to success. All children take some time, but by avoiding the behaviors we covered you’ll go a big way towards your little one finding success.

BTW, if you found these tips helpful I would love it if you could pin this article. Thanks and good luck to you and your child! 🙂

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