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How to Potty Train Your Toddler Like a Champ

Potty training your toddler can be stressful and time consuming but we have some experiences and tips that can be helpful in the process.

There Is No Greater Virtue Than Patience

When my daughter seemed like she was ready (she was about 26 months at the time), we started going to the bathroom every 10 minutes even if we happened to be out and about. We gradually increased the distance between these toilet visits to 15 minutes, then 20 minutes and so on, and after several days she would pee on her own. Pooping was another matter entirely I was using M&M candies to goad her!

-- Jenny Benter

My son was quick to master peeing on the toilet, but it took some additional effort to nail a #2. We had to start by watching for clues that meant he was trying poop and then we would hustle him off to the bathroom. Given that this process took some time (sometimes half an hour or more), we began reading to him to make the wait more enjoyable. Above everything else, patience is essential if you want to potty train like a champ!

-- Susan Light

The Bare Truth

When my kids starting showing interest in the idea of potty training -- somewhere around 2 to 2 1/2 years of age, we let them run bare naked right around their bath times to encourage them to start using the toilet. I also let them go without pants around the house for long periods. Once they mastered the art of using the potty bare naked, we started gradually adding clothes, first underwear and over time, pants. This was a very painless method that entailed few setbacks and almost no accidents.

-- Jackie Sun

Are you counting down to the day when your child successfully transitions to the toilet? Maybe you've already made several unsuccessful attempts at potty training. In either case, there is one thing that you're assured of hearing over and over: A child must be truly ready to make this change. And keep in mind, your child will be ready one day. When you think your child is ready to be done with diapers be watchful of signs like becoming more interested in the bathroom or the toilet, verbalizing bathroom needs or wanting a diaper change immediately after going poop.

Mini M&M's are two words worth keeping in mind. Promise a small amount of these every time your youngster uses the potty and increase the volume of this reward whenever your little one wipes his or herself. This can make a tremendous difference because I believe that one of the top reasons why kids don't like using the toilet is the fact that wiping and learning to wipe is sort of gross.

After a few failed efforts, I tried a technique while my wife was was out enjoying some much needed "me time" with her pals. I covered the furniture in plastic and bought manly underwear (just like Dad wears). We spent the entire weekend in t-shirts and underwear and made a game every few hours of seeing who could go to the bathroom. There were almost no accidents and simply blocking out the entire weekend eliminated almost all of the stress. This is still one of my top memories.

-- Steven Doherty

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