Potty training can have its funny moments, too.

How to Get Dad Involved in Potty Training

by Susan Revermann

Potty training can be an exciting, challenging, rewarding and scary adventure for mom, dad and child. Although you’re probably all gung ho about tackling this project, dad may be a bit more hesitant to get involved. Educating and reassuring him can make a big difference and hopefully help this process go smoothly for everyone.

1 Ease dad into the idea of helping out with this venture. You can ask him to read a potty training book to your toddler so they both get acquainted with the topic. Talk to dad about his hesitations and worries. Ease his fears with encouraging words and clear explanations.

2 Remind dad of the many benefits that come with having a potty-trained child. For one, the sooner your child is potty trained, the sooner he won’t have to carry the diaper bag around during outings. The money you two save by not having to buy diapers and wipes is quite nice and can be used for other items. No more wiping dirty bottoms or dealing with soiled diapers is always a plus.

3 Explain the need for routine and guide him through the process. He might feeling uncomfortable with the procedure if he isn’t familiar with it. Walk him through a few potty training runs so he knows what to do. Show him how to recognize the potty dance signs and that he should get him to the potty quickly. Then show him the potty procedure: pants down, on the toilet, wipe, flush, wash hands, happy potty dance and a sticker reward. Remind him that your little one should sit on the potty chair for a few minutes each time several times a day. This should be done after meals and regularly throughout the day.

4 Ask dad to be a potty buddy and to lead by example. This is especially important if you have a boy in training. The daddy perspective and advice is very useful for your little guy. However, during the initial stages, the Mayo Clinic web site suggests teaching your son how to sit down to pee until he masters the bowel movement stage of training. Dad may just have to pee sitting down when your son accompanies him during this time, unless you two want to be cleaning up after an inexperienced boy who can’t quite aim properly.

5 Talk him through the tough moments or offer troubleshooting points for when you’re not around. Potty training can be an exciting, happy time, as well as frustrating and messy. Show him how to handle potty accidents by demonstrating how to reassure your child that it’s fine and how to take deep breaths when your kiddo decides to have resistant or uncooperative moments.

6 Reward dad for his efforts, too. Potty training and all the mess that can come with it may make him a bit weak in the knees. Be easy on him, this may not come as naturally to him as it does to you. Offer plenty of praise when he willingly participates in the potty training process.

Items you will need

  • Potty chair
  • Stickers or small rewards

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images