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Potty Training 3 Year Old

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Are you worried about potty training a 3 year old?

Are you getting ready to potty train your 3 year old?

Are you wondering how you will get the job done?

What equipment will you need?

What is the best way to approach your child that will make the potty training go smoothly?

What are pitfalls you should avoid?

Are you wondering if there any products - a potty or Elmo doll, toilet training dvds, potty training watches - that would really help your 3 year old potty train easier?

I have potty trained 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls) and the following is information I could have used to my advantage had I known it BEFORE I started toilet training them.

The straightforward scoop on potty training 3 year old children.

The best way to cut your stress levels on potty training your 3 year old child is to

Prepare carefully.

Focus properly.

Careful preparation includes making sure your 3 year old is ready to potty train. Potty training readiness cues are simple to check and are very important to ensuring your child is physically and emotionally ready to toilet train. Without these cues in place, you are wasting your time and frustrating your child.

Gathering the equipment you'll need is important for a comfortable potty training session. This includes things such as
  • potty training chairs (consider putting one in each of your bathrooms and a travel or disposable one in your car),
  • grown-up kids' underwear for potty training (make these a definite change from diapers. Pull up-type undies are convenient, for sure, but sometimes let the 3 year old feel as if he's still in diapers),
  • easy on/off clothing for your potty trainee,
  • and potty training aids such as utilizing books or dvd potty training methods, a potty training in a day process (this is a very helpful tool - I wish I had this type of resource when my kids were training) or potty training dolls, stuffed animals or action figures.


Obviously, you probably won't need all of these potty training tools; consider your 3 year old's temperament and personality and pick accordingly.

Another hint: potty training can be fairly quick - but potty practice can take months or longer. So as you consider potty training tools, think about the long haul with your child. You may need a couple of tools upfront for the initial toilet training session. But most children get bored easily and will be ready to use a different training tool down the road. Rotate your potty training tools to help keep your little one's head in the game!

Focus properly when potty training a 3 year old to keep the stress down.

Proper focus with toilet training simply means that if you dilute your efforts trying to do too many things at once, you'll make it much more difficult to see the results you want as quickly as possible.

You already know this, of course. But a little reminder can really help.

The best focus for potty training 3 year old children is to block out several days when you can give this process your full attention. Certainly you can choose to do the bulk of the training on just one or two days which has the advantage of training by immersion, but as I mentioned before, potty practice will continue on far after the initial toilet education.

Simply put, you'll get the best results from your efforts if you focus your attention on your 3 year old and his potty training schedule at first. Remember, you are not confused by the potty, but your child may be, at least at first.

A great way to focus attention is to use a step-by-step potty training guide. Many are quite good, so I recommend you look for one that addresses a variety of potty training issues and challenges so you'll only need to buy one guide. Reading such a training help ahead of your big "potty training day" will help you anticipate problems and head them off easier.

See, focus works!

Potty training your 3 year old - summing up.

Expect LOTS of ups and downs with potty training. You may be fortunate and have a child who trains quickly, but for most moms and dads, potty training is a success or two followed by seeming failures or regressions.

Often these are not failures at all, but the child's growing awareness of the process coupled with her control needs. It's really just all a part of the potty training process.

Patience is key so prepare yourself to be more patient than you ever have been before.

And relax.

Your 3 year old really won't be 16 and tucking an extra diaper into their backpack! (Believe me, I had my doubts about some of mine, and they all have done just fine.)



Popular potty training topics.

Potty Training Child
A list of all of our articles to help you while potty training your child.

Toilet Training Tips
Many times just one new piece of toilet training advice that I hadn't considered before was just the help I needed to help my child over a potty training hump.

Potty Training Boy
Additional tips to help if you are potty training a boy (I've trained two boys myself).

Potty Training Girls
Specific tips to help potty training for girls move smoothly (I've trained two girls myself).





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