10 Steps to Prepare for Potty


• Changing a diaper in the bathroom will also associate the process with the place. Children over age 2 should be off the changing table for this reason.

• Although much ado has been made about using the proper terminology for body parts and functions, you should use the words that come most easily to you and your child. "Peeing," for example, may be more effective than the term "urinating" if the latter is a forced term. DO use specific terms, though; "going to the bathroom " is too vague. Try not to use words that will make your child think of his or her bodily functions as being dirty or disgusting (for example, "dirty," "stinky," "yucky," etc.).

• Help your child learn the meaning of the terms "before" and " after" by using them yourself in other contexts such as, "We'll wash the dishes after dinner."

• Talk about the advantages of being trained: no more diaper rash, no more interruptions for diaper changing, the pleasure of being clean and dry. Discuss training as an important stage of growing up.

• Let your child practice lowering and raising training pants sometimes, or putting them on and taking them off.

• Have a potty chair handy on which the child may sit (even with clothes on) perhaps while you are in the bathroom yourself, but only if he or she wants to. The intent is not to get results, but to provide familiarity with the equipment. And let the child flush the toilet for you, to help him or her get used to the noise it makes and avoid possible fear later on.

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