Have you ever thought about getting your whole family involved in helping to potty train your toddler?
It’s something you don’t hear about every day, but it can be very helpful.
Why you want your family involved in potty training
Here are few very good reasons to get your family on board with the process of toilet training your toddler.
- It’s easier for you – It’s so much easier on one parent when the rest of the family is helping out. It can also be handy when you’re not around but you don’t want to have the progress your toddler has made be interrupted. The rest of the family can keep things moving along until your return.
- Reinforces what you teach – Repetition is a great teacher so getting siblings to reinforce the things you’re telling your toddler about using the potty can be helpful.
- Makes it a normal routine – Instead of potty time being an isolated event that only happens when you are involved, having others in the family also helping out can make it feel more like a normal part of your toddler’s daily routine.
- Faster potty training – The more people who help and reinforce the ideas you teach about potty training, the faster your toddler may catch on.
How can siblings can help with potty training
Now that you know why it would be beneficial for family to help with potty training, let’s explore some ways they can help.
But first, you may be thinking:
“There’s no way my kids will want to help with anything they think will be gross!”
That’s understandable, however there are many jobs they can do to help that don’t involve direct involvement with pee or poop.
Here are some ways older siblings can help with potty training.
Looking at books while sitting on the potty is a great way to help toddlers relax and go. Put an older sibling in charge of keeping books close by when your toddler has to potty.
Show excitement and give praise
Praise can be a great source of motivation for toddlers to continue what they’re doing.
Let your kids know that whenever they see their brother or sister attempt to use the toilet whether by just sitting or actually going in the toilet, they should show that they notice and offer lots of excitement and encouragement.
Remind sibling of what to do next
After using the bathroom, there are things a toddler has to remember to do next like wiping, washing their hands, flushing, etc.
At first, this can be a lot for a little mind to remember so it’s a great idea to have siblings remind them what to do next each time they finish using the toilet.
Help with hand washing
Speaking of hand washing, another easy job an older sibling can help with is to help your toddler wash their hands after using the potty.
Whether that means lifting them up to reach the sink, helping to pump the soap or singing a song to help them wash long enough, it’s definitely an easy job.
Rewards for helping out
Even with these easy ways to help out that don’t involve any of the yucky stuff (like wiping butts), older siblings may still need a bit of encouragement to help.
Here are a few ideas for incentives you could offer.
- Offer additional allowance by making “being a potty helper” one of your kid’s chores.
- Bargain more electronic time for helping out a younger sibling.
- Let your older teens earn the keys to the car by helping out.
How a working spouse can help with potty training
Naturally, the parent who is with their toddler the most will be the one taking on most of the potty training responsibility.
But that doesn’t mean the other one can’t pitch in.
Here are some easy ways a busy spouse can help with potty training.
Ask toddler about potty training
This may seem simple, but just the act of showing interest in what’s going on will give your toddler the idea that this is important.
Even if just at night when a spouse gets home from work, they can ask your toddler how potty training is going, if they’ve had any successes that day, gotten to place any stickers on the potty chart, etc.
The small things to adults are big deals to kids.
Handle the evening/before bed potty routine
Missing out on the daytime action doesn’t mean missing everything.
A spouse coming home later in the evening can take over and help your toddler with all potty training until bedtime. That way both parents are involved.
If possible, they can even handle any nighttime accidents and training.
Take toddler shopping for potty rewards and undies
If a spouse doesn’t have a traditional schedule where they come home in the evenings, they’ll have to fit in time however they can to be involved in potty training.
One way to do this is to use the weekend or some other time of day to take your toddler shopping.
This would be a special trip to get stickers for their potty chart or to buy fun “big kid” underwear.
The Bottom line
The bottom line on getting the whole family involved in potty training is that it’s easier when everyone works together. It’s easier on you and it can make the transition easier for your toddler.
It can be incredibly motivating for your toddler to have everyone invested in his progress.