RoleMommy's Potty Training Tips

Filed under: Potty Training

In our quest to find parents the very best tips and advice on potty training, ParentDish interviewed several parenting experts and authors, to get their take on the process. Beth Feldman, co-author of Peeing in Peace and founder of RoleMommy.com, shares her answers to our burning questions.

ParentDish: As the parent who has been outspoken about many parenting issues and milestones, what potty training advice do you have to share with other parents?

Beth Feldman: My biggest piece of advice to parents who are struggling with a toddler who refuses to ditch their diapers is to take a step back and realize that as stressful as it may seem, by the time they hit college, potty training will have become the least of your worries. Seriously though, do not put pressure on your child to pee or poop in the potty. What you can do is reveal to them that if they can't do it, they're going to miss out on fun things with their friends like camp and school. In order to be a big boy or a big girl, they've got to leave the diapers behind...literally.

ParentDish: What are the main tips or strategies you would share with other parents?

Beth Feldman: Here are some of my tried and true tips:
  • Don't rush your child. If you don't have a deadline from summer camp or pre-school then what's the hurry? Your child will give you signs that they're ready for the potty. Like when they start ripping off the straps on their diaper or climbing out of their Pull Ups and walking around the house butt naked.
  • Invest in rubber sheets. If you're ready to throw caution to the wind and let your little one sleep in their bed in their undies, then get ready for a few weeks worth of smelly bed-wetting. It's not pretty but that's why you'll need those rubber sheets underneath your regular sheets -- they work wonders while protecting your mattress.
  • As much as it drives you nuts, when you're out with your kids in a restaurant and they want to go to the bathroom, take them there as many times as you want. Unfortunately, even though my kids are fully potty trained, we still spend plenty of time in restaurant bathrooms – I'm starting to think I can actually create a Zagat's guide to public toilets.
  • When you're ready to dive in and have your child give up their diaper habit, take them underwear or panty shopping. Nothing beats Monday-Friday Disney Princesses or Superheros for those Spider-Man fanatics.
  • Once they are able to make it five days in a row without an accident, surprise them with their favorite treat, a small toy or a piggy bank and quarters.
ParentDish: Are there any funny anecdotes or horror stories you can share?

Beth Feldman: Biggest setback -- automatic toilets. Just when my daughter had gotten the hang of peeing in the toilet, we went to Disney World and the remote-controlled toilets flushed so loudly that it scared her from peeing on the potty for several days.

This was my favorite essay I've written about our visits to public bathrooms -- this is the down side of potty training -- once your kid becomes addicted to restaurant bathrooms, you'll be pining for the good old days of pull-ups and diapers.

ParentDish: Are there any products you found helpful or indispensable when you were potty training your kids?

Beth Feldman:
  • Since we were always on the run, we had this great toilet seat cover from One Step Ahead that folded up and fit in our diaper bag. That way, whenever we'd go to a public toilet, we'd be able to slip the seat right on top and my kids' tiny tushies never touched the millions of germs lurking on the seat below.
  • I highly recommend Piddlers Toilet Targets for boys. It was a great way for my son to practice his aim.
  • I loved the Once Upon a Potty books since you could select a book for boys or girls. It's always great when you can personalize the experience for your child.
ParentDish: Is there a specific method or training video you used when potty training? If so, would you recommend it to other parents?

Beth Feldman: I'm not really into the technical videos -- I prefer funny videos and this one from the Once Upon A Potty folks fits the bill.

**Be sure to check out more great parenting tips and advice from Beth at RoleMommy.com.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.