Six Tips to Know Before Your Child Starts Potty Training

Potty Training Comfort Items

Diaper changes in the bathroom

When potty training, all diaper changes should switch to taking place in the bathroom. This strengthens the correlation between what happens in the diaper and what happens in the toilet. Empty any formed diaper contents into the toilet and have the child flush the toilet.

Accompany them to the bathroom

Have your child accompany you to the bathroom, or accompany an older sibling and any other adult that you trust to be in the bathroom alone with them. This implants the idea that this is how big kids and grown-ups do it, its not just you trying to force this change. Young children tend to want to emulate children just a little older than themselves. Seeing an older cousin use the toilet makes it a goal to be attained rather than a chore to learn.

Practice sitting with a potty chair

Learning to sit on a seat that doesn’t actually have a seat is a skill all on its own. Consider purchasing a small potty-chair that will be initially used just as a chair, anywhere in the house, with pants on. The potty chair can also be placed in the bathroom. Encourage your child to sit on their little potty whenever you sit on your big potty. Do not put any demands on the child during this exposure stage.

Books in the bathroom

Have books in the bathroom to entertain the child while you are going to the bathroom. This will later translate to having books in the bathroom to entertain the child while “trying.” (We all know that as adults we often look for something to read or look at if we are in there for any amount of time.) Do not expect more of your child than you would another adult.

Get comfortable with potty talk

Allow “potty talk” to be an acceptable conversation topic at any time of day and talk a little bit about everyone’s potty successes (not in detail). For example, maybe Dad comes out of the bathroom and announces “I did it! I pooped in the potty!” I know, sounds gross and cartoonish, but it also lets the child know that this is important for everyone, not just him/her, and makes it safe for them to talk about potty topics as well.

Research materials from the library.

Go to the local library and check out a variety of children’s books on potty-training. There are books available specifically targeting either boys or girls. If you look hard enough, you may even find a book starring your child’s favorite characters.


Written by Natalie Loewe, MS, OTR/L

Discover how our autism treatment services can help you

Discover how our autism treatment services can help you

Get Social With Us

Related Posts