You’ve read about the potty training readiness characteristics on this website and determined that your boy is ready to get started.
What do you do now? Well, you can either jump right in or you can take a little time to prepare your child and yourself for the challenge that lies ahead.
As with anything in life, a good plan can make things a lot easier and results more successful. This is definitely the avenue that I would take.
First of all, you will probably want to purchase a potty chair. They start at about $20 are well worth it. Regular toilets can be intimidating and are often too large for a child who is just starting to potty train. Portability is one of the other advantages of a potty chair. Sometime just bringing it in the living room can help create a more relaxing environment for the child.
One note: I would recommend buying a potty chair without a splash guard. They can often irritate a boy’s penis, and the last thing you want is your child associating pain with the potty.
An additional purchase that you might want to make is training pants/pull ups. Now there is a lot of dispute over whether these actually encourage or discourage a child to use the potty. In my experience, training pants are not much different than a diaper.
With my son, we tried training pants for the first few days and then ditched them for underwear. Even though it was a little messy at first, he soon understood that he wasn’t supposed to go in his underwear. And once that realization occurred, he began making real progress. But as I will always say, each child is different. You might have great luck with them.
Preparation should also focus on teaching your child how to use the potty. With my son, books such “Everyone Poops” and “Once Upon a Potty” were effective in simplifying the process and helping him understand that it is a normal and natural thing that everybody does.
Children also learn by imitation. If he can watch mom or dad use the bathroom a handful of times, he will really begin to understand what’s going on. Along those same lines, you can also have your child watch you take a dirty diaper and empty it into the potty chair or toilet. This deliberate action helps him associate the contents of the diaper with the toilet/potty chair.
These are just a few ideas for getting yourself prepared. The amount of time you spend on it is completely up to you. But taking some time to demonstrate the process and spending a few dollars on a potty chair and a couple of books, can be very beneficial.