Most children will be ready to train sometime between 18 months and 4 years old. Girls tend to be easier to train than boys and often the younger they train, the more willing they are to use the potty. Sometimes if they are older, they may think diapers are less trouble than the toilet. Plus, you'll save on the cost of diapers by training sooner. If you have determined your 2-year old is ready to train, it's a good idea to have a specific plan. Learning some simple steps and tips can help the process go more smoothly. Praise, encouragement and consistency are key.
Determine whether she is ready to potty train. Some of the most common signs include disliking the feeling of a wet or dirty diaper, having dry periods of three to four hours, showing interest in others' bathroom habits and being able to communicate the need to go before it happens.
Find the right bribe. Some 2-year old girls will be more motivated to use the potty for a small treat and others prefer small toys, jewelry or art supplies. Make it something you can give her every time she goes.
Create a potty sticker chart. Making a chart with five spots to put stickers for going pee and five for poop can look attainable to a young child. Put the chart somewhere that is easily accessible, such as near the potty or on the refrigerator. Determine how many stickers she needs to get before getting underwear.
Decide if you will begin training in diapers or training pants. Diapers tend to cost less than pull-ups, but are not as convenient to remove for going potty. Another option is training underwear, which is thicker than regular underwear and will help prevent the child from flooding the floor with an accident.
Get a small potty or potty seat insert for her to use. Many children are intimidated by a large toilet and are more willing to try on one that is their size. Involving your child in choosing out a potty seat can help her be more excited to use it.
Encourage her to use the toilet. Start out with her using it at least a couple times a day while she gets the concept. Don't be surprised if the first two times she just sits on it without going.
Be patient and praise her efforts for using the potty. It may take a several weeks or even months for her to be completely trained. Tell her you are proud she is such a big girl and give her lots of undivided attention and love. Being upset over an accident will only discourage her.
Once she is going consistently and has enough stickers, take her to the store to choose out underwear. When kids are able to choose the kind they want, it often is a stronger motivator to keep going potty and avoid getting the underwear dirty.
Don't be discouraged if pooping in the potty takes longer. Many kids are fully pee trained before they get the pooping mastered. The sensation is not as strong and sometimes children are worried when something they consider a part of themselves drops into the toilet. Have her sit on the potty when her bowel movements usually happen and encourage her to sit by reading a book or singing a potty song. Reassure her if she is hesitant.
Consider potty training a great achievement and continue to praise your child for being a big girl. Remember that she will still have an occasional accident and could need a diaper or training pants at night for a while longer.
Things You Will Need
- Child-size potty or potty seat
- Stickers and chart
- Candy or other reward
- Training pants or underwear
Some kids are scared of the automatic flushing toilets at stores. Carry sticky notes in your diaper bag to put over the sensor while she is using it. Then flush it once she is done and out of the stall.
Carry an extra pair of underwear and pants in your diaper bag just in case.
Have her use the potty before leaving the house to avoid having to stop for her to go while out.
Be consistent. Beginning potty training, then allowing her to go for periods without using the potty, can be confusing to a child.
Becoming upset over accidents or forceful when she refuses to go will only discourage her and create more stress for both of you. Rather, keep in mind that she is learning and praise any effort in the right direction.