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    Potty Training
  Itís time. You have decided that youíre through with dirty, smelly, over-priced diapers. Your child has shown interest in the toilet and you couldnít be happier. You and your little one are ready to begin potty training. Usually toddlers are ready for the toilet anywhere between 1 and 3 years old. Every child is different, so donít fret if other toddlers of the same age are already using the toilet on a regular basis.

Your child will show signs of readiness at their own pace. If your child can follow basic instructions, go several hours with a dry diaper and/or is uncomfortable in a dirty diaper, then it may be time to start potty training. Other signs of readiness may include regular bowel movements, telling you when their diaper becomes dirty or an interest in that new potty chair.
Picking the potty chair is not so hard. Most are affordable and have toddler-friendly colors and/or pictures. Let your child help you pick it out before the purchase. If you already have one and your child doesnít get a say in the matter, then let him/her decorate it with stickers, etc. Use whatever will make it more interesting to your toddler.

Watch carefully and when you think itís potty time, bring your child to his/her potty chair and explain to them what you expect. If your child is resistant or not interested, donít make a fuss. Let them sit for only a few minutes. If they make any progress, even the tiniest of tinkles, praise them as if they just accomplished something majorÖbecause they did. Itís not easy to go from someone washing you up every couple hours and refreshing your diaper, to having to know when you need to go, and then trying to make it to the bathroom on time. Donít over-emphasize mistakes. They will happen and they could potentially happen often. Downplay the accidents and shower them with praise when they do make the mark, so-to-speak. This positive reinforcement will aid your toddler in their potty training and help them to feel proud of themselves.

If you are having trouble knowing when your little one needs to go, you could try the 15 minute trick. Weíve seen it work on many toddlers. Every 15 minutes take your toddler to the toilet and have them try. They are bound to leave something in that potty at least once. If you are a stay at home parent, you could try this every day for a couple hours at a time. If you are a working parent, try this tactic in the evening, when you are home with your new little master of the toilet.

You can also take your toddler to the store and show them all the new cute underwear they will get to wear once they accomplish their potty training. Buying some and keeping them where your child can see them will also help. They will want to wear those big kid pants and will work towards that goal.

When the time is right, you will slip your little one into their first pair of cotton underwear. Ahhh, they look so cute you may want to snap up a picture or two. However, donít be disappointed if they wet right through theseÖall day long. If youíve just switched to regular underwear, make sure that you have plenty (like 30+) on hand for all those accidents- that are bound to happen. You may also want to invest in a thick mattress cover. The plastic ones get the job done, but are not as comfortable to your little one as a thick cloth one. Either choice will save you from constantly scrubbing and eventually replacing your childís mattress.

Read lots of books, take lots of advice, and breathe deeply. Every new parent goes through this. Itís sort of a rite-of-passage to get peed on. Laughter and patience will get you through and keep you and your child sane through this tricky process.

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