7 Days to Potty Train Your Kid! How to Get Your Child Out of Diapers -- For Good

Teaching your child to use the potty is as much a milestone for your kid as it is for you. We worked with the experts to develop a weeklong plan to help you get the job done (13 Photos)

Holly Pevzner on Oct 11, 2012 at 6:23PM

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Gear Up

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a Holly Pevzner on Oct 3, 2012 at 12:00PM

Before one drop of pee-pee hits the potty, you need to stock up on your supplies. In addition to a lot of extra toilet paper, add these to your list:

Potty
It doesn't need to play a song or do anything fancy. Ikea makes a great one for $4.99.

Potty seat: Some folks will you tell you that you only need a potty or a seat to make your regular toilet seat smaller. Trust us, you want both. Because once you get them to switch to the "big" potty, it means a whole lot less clean-up for you. Note: You may also need a small stool so your child can rest her legs on it while on the big potty.

Travel potty You will not always be near a bathroom, so having a lightweight, take-anywhere potty is a must. It's smart to get one that doubles as a trainer seat for big toilets, too, like the Kalencom 2-in-1 Potette Plus so there's less on-the-go cleanup. (You can also use this as your potty seat at home, just FYI.) 

Underpants! Let your little guy or gal have a hand in picking out big kid underpants. Spiderman, Hello Kitty, Thomas -- whatever the kid loves, get. (Just buy the cheesy character underwear. Here's why.) 

Rewards
 Choose something your kid is really, really into -- big bag of M&Ms, stickers, reward chart to earn a toy -- and stock up. Potty training is one of those milestones where incentives (or, okay, outright bribes) are a positive motivator that help your child make this huge developmental leap. So have your stash ready from the get-go and then don't be stingy about doling it out. 

Pull-ups
Once your kid is potty training, don't confuse her with diapers in the daytime. Nighttime potty training is a whole other thing and many doctors say it just happens when it happens, which may not be for a few years. For nightime and naptime, get pull-ups and -- for the love of dry underpants -- don't call them diapers.

Next Up: Wish We'd Known: 16 Things No One Told Us About Potty Training
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