pottytrainFor many families, summer is the optimal time to potty train. For one thing, the family tends to be home more. The older siblings are not in school and most activities have come to an end, so there is a lot less rushing in and out of the car.

Usually, when toddlers are forced to be on the go, it is much easier for parents to put them in a pair of disposable training pants in order to avoid an accident in the vehicle and to ensure that the child will not be wet and uncomfortable when away from home. However, frequent use can be detrimental to potty training.

Another reason that summer is a great time to potty train is the weather. One popular method used to potty train children involves allowing them to be completely pantless. This helps kids to become more aware of when they are “going.” The summer allows you to do this with greater ease, as the weather is more conducive to wearing a lack of clothing.

Even if you are not working with your child outdoors, the summer just allows for less clothes in general, which makes using the potty much easier for beginners.

Take the First Steps

The first thing you are going to want to do is fully commit to the potty training process. This means doing away with disposable training pants and diapers altogether, except for when your child goes to bed at night. If you are still putting your toddler in diapers and disposable training pants at times, it will confuse the child, which can cause him to be a resistant potty trainee who may just wait for you to put him in a diaper before going to the bathroom. Once diapers and disposable training pants are no longer an option, you will be surprised how fast potty training progresses.

Now that you have told your child that the days of disposable training pants are behind him, take him out to pick out some stylish underwear. Let him pick out the underwear he likes, with his favorite characters or designs. Characters work great because you can tell him to try not to get his favorite TV or movie personality wet.

Get Creative

The next preliminary step would be to set up a potty chart. You can start by rewarding your child for every time he is successful using the potty and then later, during the second week, rewarding him for each day he is dry. Make the chart creative and personalize it to your child’s taste. For example, if your child likes trains, have a chart where he can move the train engine another space forward on the track each time he uses the potty successfully. If he likes video games, have Pac Man advance through power pellets or have Mario make his way to the mushroom. For girls, you can have a butterfly moving from flower to flower or her favorite princesses advancing towards their castles.

Since it is summer and you’ll be spending lots of time outside, one creative idea is to build an outhouse for your child. Put her potty in a large cardboard box and cut out a door to enter and exit. Decorate how you see fit. Some ideas for decorating are the traditional outhouse style with a moon on the door or adorning it with large wall decals. You can have your child get involved and help paint the outhouse. This can serve as a great craft project where the end result is something big and spectacular. Of course, since it is just made out of cardboard and has a portable potty in it, you can bring the outhouse indoors as needed. One bit of advice is not to let your child play in it without using the potty. If she is to only go in the outhouse to use the potty, you will find her wanting to use the potty quite often.

Provide Rewards

Reward your child with cool prizes – literally. For each day she has stayed dry, present her with a potty popsicle. Any ice pop will do, but tie a homemade tag to the stick with a picture of a potty or a blue ribbon on it to let them know that this is for a job well done.

cupcake 005Along those same lines, you might want to allow your child to throw a water balloon after each successful trip the potty. You can also have him earn small outdoor toys that he can use right away, such as small bottles of bubbles, pieces of sidewalk chalk and water guns.

Once your child has remained dry during his waking hours for a full week, it is time for a potty party. The summer time makes it the perfect time for a pool or sprinkler party, or even a trip to the water park. You can present your child with a trophy. Create a trophy by placing an action figure or doll that represents the toddler’s favorite character onto a toy potty. You can also make a banner with all his favorite things on it congratulating him. Balloons are always a great touch to send the message that a celebration is in order. You can make ‘potty cupcakes‘ by using white icing to make a toilet seat and sticking an oval-shaped cookie in it to serve as the open potty lid.

Combining summer fun with a potty training regimen is a surefire way to make the experience enjoyable and memorable for the whole family. By using your creativity in training, your little one will be a potty pro in no time and will delight in the process.

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