How to Make Potty Training Less Scary

Fear, discomfort and hesitancy are all common things when the time comes for potty training. Potty time is a new thing for all kids going through the potty training process, and new things are inherently scary for children. But that’s no reason to be discouraged! There are several steps you, as a parent or guardian, can take to make potty training less scary.

Read these three ideas for making potty time less scary, and potty training will be a breeze in no time! Incorporating just one or two methods can have a sizable positive impact on your child’s potty experience, and the better that experience is, the faster they’ll get into the habit of using the potty like a big kid.

Demystify the Bathroom

New and unknown places are naturally nerve-wracking to young children. Whether it’s daycare, the grocery store, preschool, or even the bathroom — new settings make them nervous. From their perspective, the bathroom may just be a space where grown-ups occasionally go to do something vague and unknown to them, or where grown-ups go to do something that their young mind doesn’t understand yet. One way to make the bathroom feel more familiar is to take steps to make it feel more routine, and less like an unknown.

Take your child into the bathroom and show them around. Explain what things are, emphasize that there’s nothing to be scared of inside. Show them how the sink works for instance, or flush the toilet in front of them to get them accustomed to the (potentially frightening) noise of flushing water. They may not take to it at first, but overtime, they’ll see the bathroom as mundane — which is exactly what you want when potty training!

Make the Toilet More Kid-Friendly

From a young child’s perspective, the toilet is a just tall, loud thing of some sort that they’re now expected to go to whenever they need to relieve themselves. To a child, that’s a big, new and scary thing, but taking some steps to make it less daunting and easy-to-use for them can go a long way!

One way you might do that is by using a child-sized add-on to your toilet, which attaches to the top and makes it easier for them to sit on. Additionally, you may consider a step stool so that their legs are more comfortable as they go. You could also consider purchasing a child-sized ‘starter toilet’ — place it right next to the grown-up toilet, so that your child associates the bathroom with going potty, and let them get accustomed to going potty like a big kid over time.

Eventually, when they’re big or confident enough, take away the starter toilet and allow them to use the adult toilet, and just like that they’ll be potty trained!

Bring Activities & Rewards Into the Equation

The key to making potty time less scary is to make it more comfortable and less like an unknown. As any parent these days knows, kids feel most comfortable when doing something they enjoy, like reading, playing, or interacting with devices, so why not incorporate those into potty time?

Try brining your kid’s favorite book, for instance, into the bathroom with them when they need to go potty. Read it to them or have them read it themselves, as their mind will focus on this new, enjoyable activity and therefore concentrate less on the scariness of potty time. Tablets also work great for this purpose, as bright colors and fun sounds serve as a great distraction to the discomfort of the potty.

Reward is also a powerful motivator. When they know something good is coming after they conquer this new and scary thing, they’ll be much more likely to find the motivation to do it! A sweet treat, verbal praise, or fun activity afterward are all great options for potty training rewards.

Wrap Rewards, Activities, and Kid-Friendliness All Into One!

Girl with tablet

As parents, we’ve tried dozens of ways to expedite and simplify potty training — and in doing so we’ve come up with the Potty Training Tablet! With fun songs, hearty praise, and tasty chocolate, it’s an all-in-one potty training solution! Designed and built to look like a tablet too, its familiar shape and bright, engaging pictures will be instantly familiar and fun to your potty training child.

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