Keeping the toilet area clean during potty training doesn't have to be a big ordeal.

How to Keep the Toilet Area Clean During Potty Training

by Jon Mohrman

Every parent struggles with determining when it's the right time to potty train. They also grapple with techniques and various bumps in the road. Then, amidst it all, they have to worry about the cleanliness of their bathrooms while a little rugrat is learning to use it. Your child is likely to get urine on the toilet and all around it, and, not to be indelicate, there may be the occasional smear of poop somewhere, too. But, with a bunch of Ps -- proper procedure, preparation and perseverance -- you can keep the toilet area free of pee.

1 Get your child to the bathroom quickly. Ask periodically if he has to go, but don't nag. If he does need to go at least 50 percent of the times you ask, you're asking at an appropriate frequency, notes BabyCenter. If your child is already squirming, performing the "pee-pee dance" or grabbing or holding his crotch, he's more likely to lose control of his urine before getting properly situated on the potty.

2 Provide a small potty for your child to first learn on, then move up to a potty seat on the big toilet when he becomes comfortable with the small potty. These intermediary steps help your child get comfortable with using a toilet, and they're also more manageable for him, providing good practice.

3 Have your child sit down to use the toilet at first, even if you have a boy who's just peeing. Kids need to learn to control their bladders and bowels, and boys will have difficulty aiming and controlling their urine streams at first.

4 Teach your child to inform you whenever he uses the potty chair or toilet so you can inspect the bathroom right after and address any mess before it dries or creates an odor problem. Encourage him to flush after using the toilet; many children are afraid to flush, though, so you may have to do it in the beginning. Hold your child and let him watch you flush so he can learn nothing bad happens and that the loud sound is harmless.

5 Fill a spray bottle with a 10 percent bleach solution diluted with water. Keep it in the bathroom. Spray down the entire potty chair, the potty seat or the toilet seat after your child has bowel movements. Also spray anywhere else you see or think there may have been fecal matter. Then wash the sprayed surfaces with warm water and soap.

6 Wipe up urine with an old cloth, paper towels, cleaning wipe or other suitable absorbent item. Unlike feces, which is teeming with bacteria, urine is in fact sterile, as WebMD points out; so, there's no need to disinfect the toilet or toilet area every time your child gets pee outside the bowl. Empty the potty chamber into the toilet and rinse it out after your child urinates in it.

7 Use a toilet bowl cleaner and toilet brush at least once per week to clean inside the toilet bowl.

8 Spray the entire exterior of the toilet and the floor around it with an antibacterial cleanser. Wipe the surfaces down with a clean cloth, taking care to get the toilet handle, behind the toilet and into all the nooks and crannies.

9 Place a trash can near the toilet for your child to deposit soiled pull-ups, extra toilet paper and other garbage. Empty it every day or two.

10 Mop the bathroom floor at least once per week using a disinfecting floor cleaner. Be sure to get all the way up against the toilet and behind it.

Items you will need

  • Potty chair
  • Potty seat
  • Spray bottle
  • Bleach
  • Soap
  • Cloth or wipes
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Antibacterial cleaner
  • Trash can
  • Mop
  • Floor cleaner

Tip

  • Keep a potty or a potty seat in every bathroom in your home so you can always head to the nearest one when there's a rush.

Warning

  • Even though it's sterile, be proactive about cleaning up urine. Otherwise, it will start to smell, and it's still a good culture medium for bacteria to begin growing in.

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