A Little Potty Training Help

In my years of teaching and nannying, I think potty training was one of the hardest tasks.  There are millions of books and blog posts out there that offer advice and plans on how, when and where you should ditch the diapers.

It's hard.  Some kids take to it so easily, they're in clean underwear in a day.  Other kids, it's weeks of messes, crying, frustration... you have no idea how your child will respond.  Well, here's a few things I learned from going through this more than a few times.

First off, don't start too early!  If your friend's kid is potty training, it doesn't mean your kid is ready.  If your child shows no interest in the toilet, don't force it.  This seems to be the toughest part.  Don't stress you and your child out by trying to start before you're ready.  On the other hand, if your kid is showing interest and has a dry diaper after nap, it might be time to start talking to them about it.

Secondly, there is no such thing as overacting.  If your little one uses the toilet correctly, CELEBRATE!  Do a dance!  Cheer!  Give a prize!  Every time.  Not just the first time, every time.  For at least the first few weeks, you need to show that you're super proud of him or her.  Then, when your child seems bored by the whole thing, you can back off.

I'm not a fan of giving food or candy as a prize.  Mainly because, as soon as your child is done eating it, it's gone.  There's no record of the good job they've done.  I'm a big fan of a potty chart.  Usually, just a poster board with a little calendar written on it.  Then the child gets to put a sticker for each successful potty trip.

Blue Necklace with Large Gold Medals
My only issue with this is, what if your child uses the potty correctly while at a friend's house or in public?  You don't want to haul that poster everywhere!  So I've created gold medals.  They're made out of acrylic yarn, so they're hypoallergenic and machine washable.  It's a necklace that your child can wear, and for each time they use the potty, you add a medal.

Pink Necklace with Large Gold Medals

Purple Necklace with Small Rainbow Medals

Yellow Necklace with Large Rainbow Medals
These can also be used for chores well done, crossing the street correctly, or whatever else you would like to reward your child for doing.  They're great for positive reinforcement.  I've got different sizes and colors available in my Etsy shop.