Potty Training Your Preschool-Aged Child: 3 Helpful Tips

If you're a parent who's looking to start potty training your preschooler, you may already feel stressed and ill-prepared. While there's no one method of potty training that will work for every child, there are a few things you can keep in mind during your potty training journey starting with the three tips listed below.

1. Use Positive Reinforcement and Avoid Punishment for Accidents

Toddlers and children learn best through positive reinforcement, so be sure to praise when praise is due, but avoid punishment for potty accidents.

The last thing you want is for your child to associate potty accidents with shame. Your child is learning a new skill, and it will take a bit of adjustment for you and for them to get used to the new routine. To ensure less accidents and more potty training cooperation, offer praise when your child uses the potty. For bigger milestones, such as your child alerting you to their need to go, consider offering rewards, such as a new toy or board game for the family.

2. Ask Your Child's Care Provider Which Methods They Use

While it's up to you to take care of the majority of your child's potty training, there's no doubt that your child's care provider will also play a role. To remain consistent between home and school, speak with your child's care provider about how they handle potty training.

Your child's care provider is likely responsible for at least five other toddlers, so it's impossible to expect one-on-one training at all times. Your child's care center may have a protocol in place, however, to provide extra support to potty training children. For example, if you alert your child's care teacher that your child has begun potty training, they may be able to keep an assistant care provider on call to help deal with any potty incidents. Your child's care provider can also provide some pretty solid potty training tips, as they've likely helped dozens of children on their potty training journey. Check it out for more information.

3. Be Patient and Remain Calm

Potty training can be stressful for toddlers and parents alike. But no matter how stressed you get, it's important to be patient with your child and remain calm.

It's impossible to force potty training on a child who isn't ready, and it's equally impossible for your child to learn this new skill if they feel pressured or stressed. If you're having trouble potty training, first be sure that your child is showing signs of readiness. If your child does appear to be ready, you'll next want to consider whether the method you're using if best for your child's needs and whether there's a different approach you could be taking.

To learn more about potty training, consult with your child's pediatrician as well as their child care provider. With the help of these professionals, you'll learn all of the tips you'll ever need to successfully potty train your preschooler.