Rosie to the Rescue: “My Tips for Successful Potty Training”

Check out blog posts by Rosie Pope, star of Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” every week at Parents.com! 

With New Year’s resolutions made, perhaps even broken and re-made, you might be thinking about some for your kids. Perhaps one is that milestone of all milestones: to potty train!

Before you start to fret that your little girl or boy will never get there, just ask yourself: Have you ever seen someone walk down the aisle, wedding dress or tux-clad, in a diaper? The point is, your wee one will eventually be potty trained and while you can push him (or her) to do it early, it is far better and easier to wait until he’s ready. And, I promise, it will happen way before he gets married!

In order to tell whether your wee one is ready, check for these signs:

*Able to pull pants up and down
*Tells you when he has a dirty diaper, and has words for pee and poop.
*Can sit quietly for 2-5 minutes–and therefore has a chance of staying on the potty long enough
*Shows interest in the bathroom
*Able to follow basic directions
*Is in the age range of 18 months to 3 1/2 years old
*There are no other big changes happening for your child, like starting school, recovering from illness, moving into a toddler bed, etc.

If you think your child is ready then you also have to make sure you’re ready. So:

*Are you able to be at home for two full days?
*Is there anything else going on that will make it hard for you to focus on this and be positive and upbeat? It can take a lot of patience.

If you are feeling like now is the time and all these items are checked, then I say go for it, making sure to keep an incredibly proud and positive attitude and never letting your wee one feel disappointed or embarrassed if he has an accident.

These pointers should help you reach your goal:

*Watch some potty-related DVDs, or read some bathroom related stories.
*Make sure to push modesty aside and show your child how the whole process works. Make a point of buying “big-kid” underwear as something really special.
*Consider a sticker chart and reward system, although many children will feel rewarded in the success of being able to use the toilet independently. However, if a little extra incentive is needed, that’s okay too.
*Make sure you return to the potty every 30 to 60 minutes for those first two days until your child gets the hang of it.
*When potty training, tackle daytime dryness first, and use pull-ups at night.
*If your child isn’t sure where to stand or sit, you can buy a special potty or training seat. For boys, draw around their feet on a box by the toilet, so they know where to stand.
*Make sure to always go with your child to the bathroom, and keep the atmosphere relaxed.

With all these tools you’ll be sure to get there and before you know it, you’ll hear the sound of the flush and you’ll realize your little one just went to the potty and didn’t even tell you! I cried the first time this happened. I know: totally crazy, but it made me feel like the next step was college. I was getting a little ahead of myself….

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