Sure-Fire Potty Training Shortcuts


Creative Commons License photo credit: jdunny

So, you want your toddler to be able to go to preschool in the fall, but he just doesn’t seem that interested in potty training. You can’t force him; forcing potty training on a kid can be frustrating and fruitless for both of you. Instead, figure out ways to incentivize the process. In some cases, it’s worth resorting to downright trickery.





Here are some potty-training shortcuts that can get your process started (or jump-started, as the case may be):

  • Bribe her. What is it she likes? Princess stickers? Mint candies? A little cash for the piggy bank? Bribery can get you far with a toddler. Now, some parents will object to the use of food as a reward. To be sure, you want to inspire healthy attitudes about food. That said, one or two Reses’ Pieces isn’t going to make her tip the scales when she’s trying to fit into a prom dress years down the road.
  • Distract him. Many toddlers just don’t have the attention span or patience it takes to sit on the potty until they have success. There’s too much to do. Add board books, small toys, or other distractors to occupy your little one’s mind while he’s waiting for the big event.
  • Consider a condensed potty training week. Sometimes, it’s best to just pull the bandage off all at once. Have your toddler spend a week pantsless. Set a timer for every half hour. Each day, add 15 minutes to the timer. When the timer goes off, send her to the potty. Once your chill figures out that it’s time to go and starts letting you know before the timer, you know you’re close.
  • Drop the pull-ups. Disposable training pants can create a scenario in which your toddler doesn’t take things seriously. Consider using cloth training pants, which will help to keep from having a huge mess when there’s an accident, yet still let your toddler know that he’s wet and that it’s time for a change. Rubber pants are another option, but most kids aren’t especially fond of these.
  • Be sure she’s ready. Just because you’re ready for your toddler to be potty trained doesn’t mean she’s ready. To some degree, your success is just going to have to depend on your child’s interest level.


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