By Erica, Contributing Writer
We are in the potty training business for the 4th time, we have 2 older boys and 2 younger girls so these things are on my mind right now in this stage of our family life. I pray the Lord will allow some of the lessons I have learned to be a benefit to you. You can read my original article on Potty Training Pointers here.
Utilize Encouragement from Others
Siblings are some of the greatest cheerleaders your potty training little one has. Our 4 year old daughter has encouraged our 2 year old more than I have. I believe this was one of the greatest keys to helping our youngest daughter potty train successfully. The other siblings have doled out the stickers, cheered her on when she went, and sang the potty songs while we were waiting for her to go. You can involve any willing grandparents, babysitters, and others to encourage your little one to go.
Helps for Using Public Restrooms
Our oldest son was terrified of automatic flushing toilets at our church because they were so loud. He would not go to the bathroom for 3 hours while we were at church because he was afraid. Automatic toilets would also flush while he was waiting sitting to go and it would bother him when this would happen. Using a few squares of toilet paper and draping it over the automatic sensor helped keep the toilet from flushing so he could feel safe enough not to hold it for hours.
For Boys: If your son sits down to go to the bathroom then it may help you to take his pants all the way off and point him toward the back of the toilet in a public restroom. This helps to keep you from having wet streaks down the front of your outfit.
There are also nifty little folding travel potty seats you can buy and carry with you. They unfold and set on top of the seat so your child will not fall inside. Another thing you can do is have your child sit along the side of the toilet seat instead of directly in front to keep them from falling in.
Plan for Accidents
Accidents happen. If you have prepared your mind for this ahead of time, then it will help you to nurture your child during these times. Give grace to your child, just like God does you, when you have “accidents.” Humiliation and anger will never accomplish the purposes you have to make potty training a positive experience so they can be successful. Encourage them to go to the potty next time and to tell you when they need to go so you can help them.
Take an extra pair of clothes or two and a plastic bag (to put wet clothes into) in a diaper bag/back pack and bring it with you.
Cleaning Up Accidents
Have rubber gloves ready to be able to wash out dirty underwear and dirty spots off of the carpet.
Wet accidents can be cleaned up with salt. Wet spots on carpet can be soaked up with a towel, and then sprinkled with a large amount of salt until the area is white. The salt will soak up the remaining urine and pull the smell out of the carpet if it is allowed to dry where the accident site is. Keep little hands out of the salt area and then vacuum it up. This may take a couple of hours or more. Cheap salt can easily be found at dollar stores.
One of our boys, months before potty training would take his diaper off in his room and smear his #2 all over the floor of our apartment. I would wake up in the morning to the smell of it and just cringe and cry. I learned how to wash the carpet with this recipe.
Carpet Cleaning Recipe
1 tbsp dishwashing liquid
1-2 tbsp laundry soap
1 medium bowl of warm water
*Add a tablespoon or more of vinegar to help eliminate smells.
Put on rubber gloves and use a rag to wash the area of the carpet until all of the mess is gone. Yes it’s gross and stinky, but it will work to help you. If you want to pour salt on the carpet afterward if you’d like to help pull out the smell you can. Rinse out underwear in the toilet and squeeze it out and place it in your washing machine.
Children have a great opportunity to succeed at potty training when their parents and care givers will make a game plan to be able to be organized and ready to face the different situations that arise from potty training. If you will utilize the power of encouragement and give grace during accidents and potential fears, then your child will do better during their new adventures of growing up diaper free.
Tell us: Who have you involved in your child’s potty training to help encourage them? Do you have any other public restroom tips? And what do you use to clean up potty accidents on the carpet? We’d love to get your feedback and potty training pointers.