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Baby Potty Training Tips

Rewards

Rewards can serve as a very helpful tool in potty training babies. Try using small rewards such as candy or change, depending on the baby's age. Offer small amounts of the reward -- such as one or two pieces -- for successfully going number one; up the amount of the reward for big achievements, such as going number two or wiping. Many toddlers love collecting things. Buy a full set of small toys, such as cars or dolls, and reward your child with one part of the set for each successful potty experience. Stickers come in handy as well. Letting a small child display a sticker for a successful potty gives him a sense of pride and allows him to publicly show off the achievement. This method works well among groups, as children might see the stickers and use the potty themselves to reap their own rewards. Remember, rewards don't have to be complex or expensive. Many babies may get a kick out of something as simple as being allowed to flush the toilet on their own.

Positive Reinforcement

The importance of positive reinforcement in potty training can't be stressed enough. Praise your child for each successful potty trip, and avoid scolding him for accidents. It's OK to make a big deal out of a small achievement. Brag about your young one's achievement to others. Sing a special potty song together whenever it's time to go, creating a positive association with potty time.

Games

Simple games can help make potty time an entertaining experience for babies. For boys, try floating pieces of cereal in the training potty to make a simple game of target practice. Use food coloring to dye the toilet bowl water blue or red; when a child urinates, the water changes colors "like magic." Numerous manufacturers offer special potty training toilets that help turn training into a game -- some even play musical ditties as a reward for a successful potty time.

Other Tips

Take trips to the potty at intervals, such as every 15, 20 or 30 minutes. Use a watch or an upbeat cellphone alarm to mark routine potty time. Some parents may choose to go cold turkey, forgoing training potties and heading right for the big toilet. In this method, parents also forgo training pants, transitioning right from diapers to "big kid" underwear. If you take this route, let your baby or toddler wet the undies until realizing that the only way to avoid doing so is to use the potty. To help this process along, consider using underwear adorned with characters your child enjoys -- make a game out of keeping the characters dry. For any sort of potty training, keep your young one in loose pants for easy removal -- dresses work well for girls in potty training. Perhaps most important, be patient; every child learns and grows at her own pace.

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