Prep For Potty Training


My daughter has been holding her diaper and telling me “poop poop” since she was about 18 months.  Some may ask ”why is she now 26 months and still not potty trained”? Well, the answer is simple: We (the parents) were not ready.  I think that is a very important factor in the training process and will make a huge difference in the child’s success as well (I think experts agree according to “the abc’s of potty training” found here:

Now that we have moved twice, had another baby, and transitioned daycares, I would say we are “settled” enough to start the training.  In fact, I set a day to hold myself accountable—this Friday!  My daughter has shown the other signs of readiness, she follows simple directions, she can sit on the potty (actually for quite awhile), she even initiates and actually “goes” on the potty at times.  We just need to remove that pull-up so she can feel her “accidents” and be more consistent with the potty.

This leads to the next steps to prepare for my official training day.  What will I need?  I will be doing a combination of intensive toilet training and a schedule based training protocol, taking my daughter as soon as she wakes up in the morning and about every hour after that until bed time.  Here is a nice summary of both methods:  The point is to create as many successful opportunities to void in the toilet as possible so she can receive the reinforcer and learn quickly that going on the potty is the choice to make! I still need to consider whether or not to use an “overcorrection” procedure for when she has accidents or simply tell her “we need to go on the potty” in a neutral tone.  Here is my list of what I need:

  • Underwear (we will need a lot ready in case there are accidents)
  • Paper towels—want to clean up my wood floors quickly!
  • Reinforcers for successes—some edibles (m&m’s, fruit snacks) and some new/novel toys, perhaps (even books, small babies, etc).
  • Lots of juice boxes or sippy cup ready to go (want to keep her fluid intake up so she has more opportunities to go)!
  • Meals prepared for the day—I will not have time to run out or cook if I want to keep her near the potty.
  • Data sheet—I may want to take data on her successes and accidents so I know she is getting it; it could be a long day or this could be a breeze if she picks it up quickly!
  • Timer—this may be helpful at reminding me when it’s time to take her, and if I decide to do “dry pants” checks in between sitting on the potty.

As it is said in the “Joys of potty training” blog, it is important to remember that every child is an individual and will learn at his/her own pace.  I will strive to be consistent, but patient.  Wish me luck!


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