When it is time to actually go! and start the potty training process, here are some things to keep in mind.
Elaine would get (and still does) so excited when she knew she had “gone” in the potty. She would clap for herself and want Mommy to clap too. She was thrilled to stick a sticker on her page (I just created a simple grid in Excel, and then laminated it). And she never forgot that she was allowed 3 M&M’s for every success. The praise was key to helping her understand why accidents were bad.
Try, Try Again
Sometimes Elaine would sit and not be able to produce anything. Or I would ask her to “go” but she wasn’t ready yet. So I would set my little ladybug kitchen timer and tell her, “When the ladybug dings you have to sit and try again.” We usually added 15 minutes to the timer. If she still couldn’t go, we would give her another 15 minutes. Then she had to sit until she went.
You are the Parent…You Decide
Sometimes I knew that “it” had to be coming soon. But Elaine would say she didn’t have to go. I didn’t want to risk having an accident in the floor. (We had several accidents when Elaine would start playing, get distracted, and not want to stop and use the potty.)
So if we had tried a couple of times with no pee-pee, or if I knew she had to be almost ready, then I would make Elaine sit until she could go. During these times I would sit with her and we would read books to distract from the fact that she had to sit on the potty chair.
Let Them Help
For Elaine, getting to help dump the potty and flush the big toilet was almost as good as the clapping for her success. She wanted to carry the “pot” into the bathroom and dump it. So I let her. Keep your kiddo involved and excited about the whole thing.
Let me insert here that I have found yet another use for my diaper sprayer: cleaning the potty chair. Just dump, spray out the paper and rinse the pee, and flush. Good to go. I used Lysol or Clorox wipes to sanitize the pot, too.