Potty Training: 5 Tips To Better Prepare Your Child For Preschool

Although not all preschools require children to be potty trained, for the ones that do, it is essential that you properly prepare your child to ensure a smooth transition.  Although there are a lot of potty training methods, by implementing these 5 tips into whatever method you choose, you can be sure to keep your child consistent in the skills he or she has learned, and lessen the amount of accidents your child has when entering preschool.

Tip #1:  Remember That Patience Is Key

Your child has been in diapers since he or she was born.  When you think about it that way, telling a child that they now have to think about when they need to go to the bathroom, and that they can no longer just go potty while they are playing or doing other activities, is a very difficult thing.  

Realize that using the potty is a huge deal, and that it will take some time for your child to get used to this big step.  Although the initial potty training might only take a couple of days, having little to no accidents can take months.  Give your child ample time before preschool begins to get used to this transition.

Tip #2:  Keep The Clothes Off

Being naked can do wonders for potty training.  Not only can it help a child recognize the feeling that comes right before they need to go potty, but it can also reveal important gestures your child does right before he or she needs to go.  If you are uncomfortable having your child completely naked, you can start with underwear and gradually add clothes when he or she is getting the hang of going in the potty.

Tip #3:  Wait Until Your Child Is Ready

By waiting to potty train when your child shows interest and is developmentally ready (usually between the ages of 18 months and 3 years), you will save yourself a lot of stress and frustration.  Some of the signs that your child is ready are:

  • showing interest in bathroom related things
  • telling you when he or she needs to go potty
  • being disgusted at the poop or pee in his or her diaper
  • wanting to be changed right away

If your child is not showing interest, and he or she is nearing the date of entrance into preschool, you can help increase awareness and interest of potty training by:

  • using bathroom words around them (i.e.- toilet, bathroom, flush, toilet paper)
  • letting them watch you use the bathroom
  • telling them when you need to go to the bathroom
  • talking about how peeing and pooping in a diaper is yucky

If preschool is nearing, you have tried to increase interest, and your child is still not developmentally ready, it is better to switch to a preschool that does not require a child to be potty trained rather than trying to potty train your child too early.

Tip #4:  Practice Repetition And Consistency

While potty training, you might feel like you are asking your child if he or she needs to go potty and taking your child to sit on the potty a million times a day; however, this repetition and consistency is essential to producing an accident-free, potty trained child.  

Whether you ask your child if he or she needs to go to the potty or actually take them to sit on the potty, start by doing either of these things every 10-20 minutes.  Children need reminders because they get distracted easily.  By asking them or taking them to the potty often, you can avoid accidents and help them to get used to this new routine before they enter school.

Tip #5:  Use Rewards Or Praise To Increase Motivation 

Offering rewards can be a great motivational tool to help your child use the potty.  Some rewards you can use are:

  • small candies for when your child maintains dry underwear
  • a sticker chart with a prize he or she can receive when the chart is completed
  • a piggy bank or money jar that is filled every time he or she uses the potty

If you do not want to give actual rewards, you can praise your child instead.  Be sure not to punish your child when he or she has an accident.  Remember that he or she is still learning.  You don't want your child to become scared or embarrassed, especially when he or she is in preschool or another environment with other children.  Instead, stick to praise by:

  • giving your child attention
  • using positive reinforcement
  • showing love and affection
  • making a big deal out of even small improvements

When you do decide to potty train your child, just go for it!  Devote your time to following these tips and don't turn back.  As you stay positive, consistent and patient with your little one, you can help to increase their desire to potty train and keep them dry and happy during their preschool experience.

If you want to learn more about getting your child ready for preschool, go to this website.