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Potty Training Phase II: The 3 Keys to Voiding in the Potty

Establishing routine and independence is the first phase of the Potty Training Process. After you have established a daily routine of visiting the potty every 45 minutes with your child and encouraged her to be independent in the bathroom, you are now both ready to move on to Phase II. Phase II is all about successfully teaching your child to void in the potty following these 3 important keys:

1. Switch From Diapers to Underwear

The first vital key in Phase 2 of potty training is transitioning your child from diapers to underwear. Explain to your child that she is a big girl now and does not need to wear diapers anymore because she is going to learn how to ‘go pee-pee’ in the toilet. After briefing your child of the upcoming change, add a little fun to the experience by taking her shopping and allowing her to select her favorite “big girl” underwear.

2. Increase Expectations

Now that your child has mastered pulling pants up and down, flushing, wiping and washing hands, you need to focus on the next step which is vital key number 2, increasing expectations. The potty routine continues to begin when your child wakes up in the morning by visiting the bathroom, but now includes putting on “big girl underwear.” The visits to the bathroom will also become more frequent, moving from every 45 minutes, to every 30 minutes.  While your child is sitting on the potty, provide occasional verbal reminders that, “pee-pee and poo-poo go in the toilet.” During this phase, it is important to remember that until your child demonstrates some consistency with regard to voiding in the toilet, continue to wear diapers after 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., in addition to when you go out in the community, as well as during nap and bedtime hours. Once your child is experiencing success on the potty, diapers can then be gradually removed from those other aspects of the day.

3. Understand that Accidents are part of Learning

For the past 2 years, your child only understands and has experienced going ‘pee-pee’ and ‘poo-poo’ in a diaper so making the transfer to the potty will be no easy task. Most parents want to avoid potty accidents at all costs, but, truthfully, accidents are imperative to your child’s success. Going ‘pee-pee’ or ‘poo-poo’ while wearing underpants as opposed to diapers is your child’s first indication that “something is wrong, that potty no longer goes in my pants, it needs to go somewhere else.” So, do not scold your child for an accident. Rather, use it as a learning opportunity and reminder that ‘pee-pee’ and ‘poo-poo’ need to go in the potty.

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