How should I start potty training my child?

Q: How should I start potty training my child?

A: With lots of patience and a schedule. Most kids need to poop or pee an hour or so after a meal. Have your child sit on the potty soon after she's finished breakfast and again after dinner. Make "going potty" fun -- read a story together, play a game, or sing to her. If she's successful, make a big deal out of it: Say something like, "I'm so proud of you." If nothing happens after 10 minutes or she gets fidgety and wants to get up, put her diaper back on, praise her for trying, and leave the bathroom together. The idea is to get her used to a potty regimen. Before long -- if you stick to the schedule every day -- she'll get the hang of it. --Nancy Mattia

Copyright 2004. Updated 2009

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