Potty Training Part 2

Now that you have had some time to assess the readiness of your child, it’s time to move on to another assessment of sorts! Does it seem like there is a lot of work before you even get started?! There is! The most important part of potty training is actually the assessment and planning you do as a parent or caregiver before you even bring your little one into the mix! Take some time to consider any circumstances in your life and family that could adversely affect your child and derail your plan.

What types of circumstances Can Adversely Affect a Child’s Readiness to Toilet Train?

Sometimes, the developmental indicators show us that a child is ready to begin the toilet training process, but there may be factors that are not related to the child’s development, that could negatively influence the success of the toilet training. Below are some examples of factors which may indicate that a decision needs to be made about whether to proceed with the training or wait for a better time.

Have there been any recent changes in the household that seem difficult for the child?

Is there a new baby in the family?

Has the child, or the parents, recently had a serious illness?

Have the child’s parents recently separated or divorced?

Has there been death in the family?

Has the family moved recently?

Have there been any changes in the child’s care?

Did the child just begin attending a Pre-School or child care program?

Did the child recently change Pre-Schools or child care programs?

Does the child have a new child care provider or caregiver?

Did the child recently move to a new room in the child care program?

Did the child recently change the bed she/he sleeps in at home?

Is the child in a ‘negative phase’ (you know that phase!) where he/she refuses to do things, argues, is trying to ‘control’ his/her life, and generally resists adult direction? If any of these are factors for you and your child, waiting a little longer to toilet train may be a good decision, rather than getting into a power struggle.

Preparation & Possible Problems to Avoid

The seat, either in a potty chair, or that fits on the toilet, should be ‘child sized’ so your little one isn’t afraid of falling in.

If your child is on the toilet, make sure you have a step stool to place under her/his feet to help her/him to feel secure.

Modify the type of clothing your child wears for a little while, to make training easier: Elastic waist, loose fitting pants, and waist length shirts, help your child to get ready to use the toilet, and avoid accidents when clothing gets in the way.

Use padded training pants or regular underwear when you begin training, continuing to use diapers or pull-ups sends mixed messages and confuses the child.

Your child will have accidents when you are toilet training, be sure you have extra clothing, including underwear/training pants, extra pants, socks, and shoes readily available at home, and be sure to send a couple of sets to Preschool or daycare.
Happy planning, parents! We will share one last post with some guidelines and things to consider as you move into the implementation phase of your potty training!