For young or small children look for a potty seat that allows feet to touch the floor. For boys, look for a splash guard that extends up in the front to reduce splash. The seat should be sturdy. I prefer potty seats that have a handle on each side as this will help your child feel more secure while seated. For older or larger children the toilet may be preferred. Various companies produce inserts that rest on a toilet seat, some even have short steps attached to assist your child with getting onto the toilet. Most importantly ensure your child is able to touch the floor while seated. If he/she is unable to do so I strongly recommend a stool or foot rest that allows him/her to have feet planted firmly while seated.
I recommend purchasing a travel potty, either a potty chair or insert, that you can keep in your car at all times. Many smaller children are not secure on a large toilet and will hold their urine or bowels when they need to go in public settings. To minimize accidents while on the go, practice using the travel potty or insert at home during early training.
While all little undies are cute they are NOT all equally comfortable or effective for a potty training child. Things to consider include:
- FIT – look for a snug fit around the waist and legs
- TAGS – is your child sensitive to clothing tags? Look for undies with a printed tag or no tags to reduce irritation.
- MOTOR Skills – Does your child have limited fine motor ability? Look for undies with loops or holes in the waist that allow your child to hook their thumb in the underpants and push them down with ease.
- AGE of child – for younger children look for undies with a training layer in the crotch. These absorbent layers will minimize leakage when accidents occur. For older children absorbent layers are much harder to find. Brief or full coverage undies will protect more against leakage than boxer style underwear.
- INTERESTS – does your child have a favorite color, character, item or activity? Look for undies that will excite your child’s interests!
Free photo printing apps are a great tool for printing photos for flip books, social stories, and visual reminders.
Timers on cell phones are a great, non invasive tool for tracking time between potty trips. I recommend vibration timers when possible over chiming/buzzing timers as they are less distracting. When potty training goals include teaching self initiation timers should generally be used to remind parents, not children and therefore the least obvious timers work best.
Potty watches can be purchased when potty training goals do not include teaching self initiation. Watches are worn by the potty training child and act as a prompt that it is time to go sit on the potty.
Charts can be downloaded and printed online or created using software. I prefer simplicity. Charts should capture your child’s interest. One suggestion is to use pages from a coloring or activity book your child likes. Charts can be used by parents to track details as well as a visual display for children who choose stickers as a reinforcer.
Wet bags are a great travel tool. I recommend purchasing a lined, washable bag to keep in your car or diaper bag in case of an accident while on the go.
- Bubble machine and/or bubbles
- Light show/strobe light toys
- Stickers- either purchased or custom printed using your child’s favorite characters
- Favorite books or puzzles
- Toys that play music, encourage movement/dance
- Favorite Ipad/Kindle apps
- Confetti poppers
- Access to favorite sensory bag
- Hula hoops, Water tables, jump ropes, trampolines, and other large motor activities
- Favorite TV show
- Access to Favorite outdoor activity or item such a motorized vehicle, bike, play-set
- High fives, hugs, claps, happy dances, whoo hoo’s, and any other form of physical touch or verbal praise your child enjoys
Any activity or item that truly captures your child’s interest can be used as a reinforcer/reward for eliminating in the potty. Be creative and have fun exploring all of your options!
*** Please note- Food rewards are not preferred rewards for potty training
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