Teach your child to come to you when his diaper needs to be changed.
Let your child watch other children use the toilet or potty chair.
Read books about learning to use the toilet to your child.
At first, keep the potty chair in the room your child usually plays in. Easy access will greatly increase the chance that he will use it. Consider owning two potty chairs, one for his playroom and one for the bathroom.
Teach your child about how the toilet works.
Suggest using the toilet or potty chair only if your child gives a cue that he needs to go.
Give suggestions, not demands.
Give your child an active role and let him do it his way.
Keep your sense of humor.
Keep the learning process fun. Be positive about any interest your child shows.
Don't try to start teaching your child to use the toilet when he is in a stubborn or negative phase.
Don't use any kind of punishment or pressure.
Don't force your child to sit on a potty chair or keep him on it against his will.
Don't flush the toilet while your child is sitting on it.
Don't lecture or remind your child.
Avoid friction about using the toilet.
Avoid battles or showdowns about using the toilet.
Don't try to control what you can't control.
Never escalate your response, you will always lose.
Don't appear overconcerned about this normal body function. Be casual and relaxed during your child's learning process.
When your child begins to use the toilet, don't expect perfection. Some accidents will probably occur for months.
Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, author of “My Child Is Sick,” American Academy of Pediatrics Books.
Pediatric Advisor 2013.2 published by RelayHealth. Last modified: 1994-11-28 Last reviewed: 2012-05-14
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.