If you're planning to jump into toilet training, make sure you have the necessary tools to get the process going. Of course, nothing more than a clean toilet is required, but moms and dads have found the following items useful as they take the big step.
- New underpants - throw out the pull-ups. Training kids need to "feel the wet." You may want to put liners around them, though most kids won't stand for the bulk. Be ready for a few mistakes. It goes with the territory.
Potty Chair - low to the ground, and easily accessible, this is a key item so kids don't have to climb up on the big toilet with it's potential for falling in. Make sure to buy one that's easy to clean and can help avoid spills, for obvious reasons.
Step stool- makes it easy for kids to learn to wash hands, and eventually to get up on the big toilet.
- Flushable wipes - especially for #2, many parents find this a good way to make sure wiping gets done properly. That said, moistened tissue works pretty well.
- Cheerios - What? Cheerios? Yes, to practice aim and to make going to the bathroom that much more fun. Some kids need a lot of motivation because they'd just as soon stay in diapers.
- Easy to use soap
- Now is the time to develop good hand-washing habits, which will cut down on the number of colds and other viruses this season.
- A special potty friend - clip a stuffed animal to the wall, or try the Potty Monkey to help make going to the bathroom fun. Treat the experience as positive and happy, rather than dirty and unpleasant.
- Stickers around the toilet or to track progress. Again, some kids need other kinds of motivation.
- Treats to celebrate success. We used small doses of jelly beans. One for each time they made it to the bathroom. This was a healthy motivator for them, and surprisingly, once trained, they quit asking for them.
Good luck with this very important parenting ritual. Count yourself lucky if you can be part of it since it's a very key part of growing up.
- Paul Banas