Archive for June, 2009

A Parent’s Role in Potty Training

Friday, June 26th, 2009



Of course you know that it is your responsibility as a parent to show your child how to use the potty, how to know when to go, what to do when she has an accident ….and while those are all true, it is essential that you remember this:

For you as the parent, potty training is about learning how to help and support your child in her quest for independence.

Think about it: Potty training goes way beyond “staying dry”, going to the bathroom in time, recognizing the feeling of needing to go. It really is a gigantic step in your child’s independence. Up until now, she relied on you to keep her clean, to change her diapers. Now she is learning that she can take care of her needs on her own, and this is HUGE.

First and foremost, remember that you are on your child’s side. This is not a fight to see if he will do as you tell him. This is not “him against me” (although sometimes is may feel that way, especially with a very resistant child J). He is learning a new skill, and he absolutely needs you to help him, so be there for him, with lots of love and patience. It’s imperative that you choose to support him so that his self-esteem can soar.

The real job during potty training lays with you – not your child.  When you foster a supportive environment and couple that with lots of praise and encouragement, you will have a child who is eager to go on the potty and will train easily in the long run, even if you hit some bumps in the road along the way.


Sending you lots of love and patience,


Marion Solis

Prepare Your Child For Potty Training

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Whether or not your child is ready for potty training right now, there are a number of different activities you can naturally incorporate into your daily lives to introduce the concept. If you have read my story, you know that Julian went to the potty way before he showed any “readiness signs”.

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Take them to the bathroom with you and let them watch while you “do your business”. Making simple statements such as “mommy is going pee-pee in the toilet” explains the process and satisfies their natural curiosity. Casually mention “very soon you will go pee-pee in the potty, too, just like mommy and daddy”.
        To some parents, this is the most obvious suggestion, but others are very much concerned about their privacy and are horrified by the idea that their child would watch and start asking questions.
        If you consider yourself to be in the “I need my privacy” category, think about it this way: you have the opportunity to give your child the gift of growing up with the feeling that going to the bathroom is completely natural and that the elimination process is absolutely normal. You may not have been raised that way, but you can step outside your comfort zone and allow your child to feel okay about her body. 
  2. Read potty books with them or watch potty videos (there is a list of resources in the Ultimate Potty Training Guide and also in the resources listed below).
  3. Comment on signs you notice, such as your child’s pausing in play or walking as if she is uncomfortable after elimination. Use statements such as, "You are going poop," rather than asking the general question, "What are you doing?" 
  4. Here is a tip I got from Ingrid Bauer’s book "Diaper Free", which is really aimed towards infants, but it worked awesome for our son Julian when we first tried it at 13 months: Most kids make a grunting sound when they poop. Imitate their sounds while they are doing their business. When they go pee, make a sound like "ssss". Then when it is later time to go on the real potty, you can use these sounds as a cue for them to go - it worked like a charm for Julian.

These are just some things you can start doing today, and they will make potty training much easier when the time comes.

See, you can start today!

Best to you,

Marion Solis



The Potty Training Product Resource Guide (FREEEEE!)

Ingrid Bauer:
Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene
This is not a potty training book for toddlers, but if you are curious how to get around the entire diaper affair from the get-go, check it out!