7 Stages of Potty Training

There are seven stages of potty training. They begin with showing signs of potty training readiness and conclude with being able to use the toilet away from home.

Signs of Readiness - The first stage of potty training begins when your child shows the following signs of potty training readiness:

· Expresses an interest in the potty
· Express the need to go potty (verbally or through body language)
· Able to dress and undress
· Uncomfortable in wet diapers
· Stays dry for two hours
· Imitates family members
· Interested in big kid underwear
· Has regular bowel movements

Introduction to the Idea of Potty Training - When your child shows a majority of the signs of potty training readiness, it's time to introduce him to the concept of using the potty. This can be done by reading a potty training book as a bedtime story or watching a potty training video or DVD together. Purchase a potty chair and let your child watch you use the potty. Children will often imitate family members.

Use the Potty Sometimes - Be sure to give your child plenty of liquids and take him to the potty every 30 minutes. This will help build muscle memory. The first time your child uses the potty, make a big deal of his huge accomplishment. A hug, encouraging words, or a small reward can be good motivational tools and help your child feel proud of his or her accomplishment.

Use the Potty Alone - As your child gets more comfortable with the potty and his ability to control his bodily functions, he will go to the potty by himself. He will then come tell you about it. Again, this is a time for lots of praise and encouragement.

Transition to the Toilet - When your child is comfortable using his potty seat, it's time to transition him to the toilet. Many children are afraid of falling in, so you may need to purchase a toilet seat adapter such as the Flip-N-Flush or the PRIMO's Ducka toilet adapter. These devices reduce the size of the toilet hole, thereby making you child feel more secure.

Some children breeze through the seven stages of potty training in a matter of weeks, while other children take several months to complete potty training. Your child's progress depends on his or her stage of development, your potty training knowledge, and the potty training products you have available.

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