Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Creative Potty Training Ideas

Potty Training is something no parent really looks forward to and they usually have no idea how it's going to go until they start. I'm secretly jealous of those who tell me stories of how their child potty trained themselves in one day and never had an accident. I don't know what kind of personality or gene trait that child has but MY children don't have it. There are a lot of methods and ideas out there on potty training your child. Because every child is different, some of those ideas work great while others fall flat on their face. That's the big secret of potty training is finding the right motivation-whatever it is that makes the potty fun.

I've come up with a few creative potty training ideas to help parents for when the stickers and M&M's don't work. I'd love to hear your creative ideas and what worked/didn't work for you.

Potty Races
This one could work with just one child or if you're potty training mult
iples. You can use little potty seats or the big potty, whichever you like. The idea is that it's a race. Pick your starting point and say "On your marks, get set....GO!" And you both go running to the potty to see who gets there first and sits on it. Then go back to start and do it again. You can have a "prize" for whoever gets there first but the child might just enjoy the race. This should help your child be more familiar with the potty in a fun and creative way, while also teaching him/her how to get there quickly and sit.

Water Play
Another thing you can do is
go to the dollar store and buy some really cheap toys, like bath toys, cups, and boats. Put them in a basket or decorative box and when your child sits on the potty, let them pick a brand new toy. Place the toy in a small tub of water and let them play with it. You can set the tub on a small step stool, if they're on a little potty, or on a tv tray if they're on the big potty. The idea is that the splashing and water sounds (especially if they're playing with toy cups and scooping up the water and pouring it back in) will help them go pee. Many times the sound or touch of water will instinctively trigger the need to go pee. Keep a towel close by if you try this one as water might go other places than back in the tub.

Dolls that Wet
You could buy a doll that wets or, in my opinion, use a d
oll you already have and sneak in the pee and poop. Basically the idea is the doll drinks their bottle and then they pee on the potty. Make sure your child sees the doll drink and have them take them to the potty to go pee. The child will hopefully catch on to the idea, especially if you give them a drink and remind them of the doll, then take them to the potty and tell them to do what the doll did. As your child potty trains the doll, then the routine will be reinforced in their mind.
If you have a hollow plastic doll, then you can always poke a hole in its bottom and mouth and try the same thing.

Hide and Seek Potty

This only works for little potty chairs. Hide the potty chair somewhere in the house and have your child find it. You can tape some sort of small reward to the chair for finding it. Then have them si
t on it. This should hopefully help them become more comfortable with the potty and learn how to "seek it out" when the time is right.

While on the Potty...
If you stay with your child, which I would suggest in order to keep them there, while they sit on the potty play games with them or sing songs. You could have a felt board or chart with different songs to sing and the chi
ld can pick the song. You could even have symbols for the songs, like a cut out of a bus for "Wheels on the Bus," and put them in a basket and let them pick them out and hold the symbol while you sing. You can play peek-a-boo, I spy, or give them a toy they only get to have while on the potty.

Ride the Potty Train
Another unique motivator, is the Baby Signs Potty Training Kit. The kit comes with reward stickers, a book for the parents, a board book about going potty for your child, a DVD and a train whistle. The DVD is great because it s
hows the potty routine, as well as potty time signs. The catchy songs and signs can be a great tool to helping you child get on the potty. Of course, when your child sits on the potty they get to blow the train whistle - CHOO! CHOO!
I've written other posts about the kit so I won't spend too much time here.
If you'd like to purchase the kit click here.