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By Thea Theresa English

Potty training tips new parents can use

You are excited about potty training and the possibility of not having to buy those expensive diapers. But keep in mind that your child needs to show signs of readiness before you begin the training. If your toddler can stay dry for an hour or more and has fewer leaky diapers, this could be a sign of readiness. Other signs might include more regular bowel movements, his expression of frustration with dirty diapers and his eagerness to learn how to use the potty by watching you in the bathroom. You should also talk with the pediatrician if you wonder when your child will be ready for potty training.

Get him on the toilet frequently

Practice makes perfect, so when you are potty training your child, make sure he gets in as many opportunities as possible during the day. You can put him on the toilet every thirty to forty minutes during the day even when he is not pushed to go. This helps him understand that using the potty is a part of normal functioning as a human being. Before long your child will start to figure out when he needs to use the potty.

Make it a big deal in a fun way

Once your child expresses readiness and interest in using the potty, make the transition fun. Make up a few funny songs about potty training and when shopping for training pants or underwear, let her pick out the undergarments she likes. Also buy her some colorful toys or books that will entertain her while she is on the potty.

Don't scold harshly when accidents happen

Accidents will occur so don't scold when your child messes up. Just clean the mess and give your child a big hug for putting in the effort. Bedwetting and other types of accidents sometimes happen well into early childhood years, but the accidents should decrease as the child learns to regulate himself better.

Praise your child's successes

This is important because your child needs to know that you are proud of his success in potty training, and it motivates him to keep up the good work. You can also reward him with his favorite treat, but be careful not to use rewards as the only motivation for doing well with potty training.

Let the child run around diaper- or pants-free

Another way to help your child succeed at potty training is to let him run around without his diaper or training pants. Your child will learn to detect when he needs to use the potty, and you can place his potty in the room where he spends the most time. Some parents who used this method stated that they were successful in potty training their kids.

Teach them how to wash their hands

Older toddlers will understand this better than younger ones but all toddlers should be taught to wash their hands with soap after using the potty. Demonstrate the action in front of them and then walk them through the process so they can learn it themselves.

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