#MommyBlogMondays presents Dr. Maria, psychologist, and mama
Parents often approach potty training with positive anticipation (Yay! No more changing diapers!), along with some nervousness about how their child will navigate this new milestone. Even while potty training, it is common to run into normal challenges and hiccups that may make both parent and child less than excited about the whole experience. It is important to maintain a fun, positive attitude and environment for potty training. This will help your child feel comfortable and motivated to tackle this new adventure. Here are some tips for keeping your little one excited about using the potty, not just potty training!
Make Potty Training All About Them from the Start!
Let your child choose their potty! Narrow down a few potty options and then let your child decide which one they would like to have as their potty. Once you have potty in hand, you can spend some time decorating it with your child’s name and stickers to personalize it; be sure to make this a fun and interactive activity! This will give your child a sense of ownership over the potty and also get them really excited about getting started.
Since one of the most important initial steps in potty training is getting your child comfortable with their potty and comfortable sitting on the potty, decorating it will also help your child feel more involved and relaxed about this new experience. It’s a great idea to have your little ones just sit on the potty with clothes on or off. This will give them some time, without any pressure, to become more at ease with this new bathroom addition. You may even find having a “Bye-Bye Diapers Celebration” is a fun activity for the two of you right before you begin formal training! This initial potty introduction is an important step in the potty training process where you can ignite your child’s enthusiasm for using the potty from the very beginning!
Create A Fun Space
Have the potty in the bathroom once you start potty training and make the space attractive for your mini with books, toys and perhaps some bubbles! Since you may be spending a lot of time indoors (and in the bathroom) during the first few days of potty training, make sure your child actually wants to spend time there. Encourage your child to look at books or blow bubbles while they are sitting. Did you know that blowing bubbles can actually help them with become more comfortable pooping. Make sure never to force your child to sit on the potty. We want potty use to be a positive, fun experience with full voluntary participation from your little one!
Before formal potty training it’s also a great idea to read books that explain the potty training process to your toddler. Children will have an easier time understanding the process when it is introduced in a colorful engaging book that is aimed right at their level. It might also inspire them to mimic the story and get started themselves! When reading, it is great to be engaged with the story, for example, asking questions, getting your little one to tell you what’s happening as soon as they become familiar with the story lines.
Introduce a Special Friend
Dr. Maria, creator of PoGO Potty Panda, a Positive Potty Training System suggests that introducing the idea of a special cuddly familiar friend who comes to your house when your child is ready to use the potty is a great way to stimulate additional interest, motivation and support for potty use. With this in mind, Dr. Maria created PoGO Potty Panda, a character in her children’s book PoGO Potty Panda. PoGo is introduced to your child through the book and your child knows that, when they are ready to use the potty, PoGO will come to your house! On the day you start formal potty training you can even hide this “special friend” for your child to discover.Starting this special day off with a game of hide and seek gets everyone in a more playful mood and that can help easy initial anxieties. Your child will be excited to meet their special friend and it will really help to motivate them to start using the potty straight away. You can let them know that their special friend can go with them any time they need to use the potty and this support is usually welcomed..
Praise, praise, praise for any effort including walking to the potty or sitting on the potty (even if it is for a shorter time than you desired or they don’t pee or poop). There is nothing more important than your praise when it comes to getting your child invested in using the potty. Let them know how proud you are of them and how great they are doing! Reward your child with your praise for all their efforts. When the inevitable accidents happen, never scold or shame, simply clean them up matter-of-factly and continue the potty training process smoothly (and praise, praise, praise!).
You are the most important element in the potty training process and your excitement and recognition will help your prince or princess eventually master this lifelong skill!
For more potty training tips and tricks from Dr. Maria, psychologist, mother and inventor of PoGO Potty Panda, a positive potty training system, visit www.pogopottypanda.com