Before you first introduce toilet training to your toddler you need to routinely go through four simple steps that will help make the process flow as smoothly as possible. According to doctors the key to successful potty training is “modeling language and demonstrating procedures.”
The first step in pre-toilet or pre-potty training is to make up simple names for the child’s bladder and also his bowel movements. Some people use the words “pee pee”, “pee” or “wet” to describe urine while others use the words “poo poo”, “poopie” or “jobbie” to describe a bowel movement. Make any name up you like just make sure you use it consistently so your child will learn what it means through the process of association. Learn to ask your child questions regarding his bladder and/or bowels so he can learn. For example ask the question, “Do you have a poopie in your diaper?” or “Do you want to go pee in the potty?”
The second step is to go through a “potty walk through lesson.” This can mean one of two things. First of all it can mean taking your child into the washroom and allowing him to go through the necessary mechanics of using the potty, from pulling his pants down, using the potty, wiping his bum with toilet paper, pulling his pants up and washing his hands without actually needing to do it at the time. This is practice for when he needs to do it for real. Let your child ask as many questions as he needs to and answer him in a straightforward simple manner. Or a “potty walk through lesson” can mean allowing your child to accompany you to the bathroom and watch you go through the process. Not all parents are comfortable with this as it involves the child seeing their genitals. This can be especially uncomfortable especially in the case of a different sex parent than child (such as a mother and son). Do only what makes you feel comfortable as a parent.
The third step is to not allow your child to sit around in a dirty diaper. By changing a diaper as quickly as it becomes soiled this allows your child to experience the difference between wet and dry. This helps teach your child that a dry diaper feels better against his or her body and soon the connection with using the potty will be made. As your child gets older he or she will let you know when a diaper is dirty or wet and that is what you want to happen.
The fourth step involves devising a specific signal or symbol for when your child has a diaper that needs to be changed. Make it something simple that your child can easily communicate to you. Some mother simply point to their child’s diaper and ask if it is dirty. The child then learns to point to his or her diaper when it is wet or dirty to let mom knows that it needs to be changed. It is important for a mother to praise her child for letting her know that a diaper is wet. This creates a positive atmosphere for toilet training as opposed to a negative one.