Tips for Successful Potty Training

Dear Sara,

My four-year-old son is not potty trained yet. I feel that he should be able to do this but he either ignores me or refuses to use the toilet. What can I do to get him to use the bathroom instead of his diaper?

Dear Denise,

You may want to have your son checked out by his pediatrician to make sure that he doesn’t have some underlying problem. If all is well there you can start ahead of time by telling your son that you are sure that he can do this. Keep a positive attitude. Try putting him in training pants that appeal to him and that he will not want to soil.

If he has accidents stay calm, accidents are normal. You can let him help out by washing out his new underwear and putting it in the laundry. Give your son lots of praise when he is successful. You can also try small rewards such as stickers or a star chart for when he makes it to the bathroom on time. Try to set up a regular routine for sitting on the potty. If he does what is expected you can praise him, if not try again later.

If you have not been successful with some of these methods, you might try letting him go bare bottom with a long tee shirt to cover him. He will be more aware of his bathroom needs when there is no diaper or training pants to catch the results.

Good luck.

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