Teach your toddler to use a standard-sized toilet.

How to Potty Train if You Don't Have a Potty Seat

by April Sanders

Potty training can be challenging. You might feel like your child will be the only one in kindergarten still wearing diapers, but don't worry -- that won't happen, even if you don't have a potty seat. Skip right over that step and go straight to the toilet, and you won't have to worry about lugging a potty seat around with you when you travel.

1. Wait Until He's Ready

Your child won't learn to use the toilet -- with or without a potty seat -- until he's ready. Avoid frustration by waiting to start potty training until you see the signs of readiness in your child, which include being able to follow simple instructions, keeping a diaper dry for two hours or more, crossing his legs or being able to tell you that he feels like he has to go potty, and showing interest in using a toilet.

2. Create a Potty Routine

One good thing about not having a potty seat is that it removes any other option for going to the bathroom -- if your child has to go, he will quickly realize he needs to go to the bathroom, not to a potty seat in the playroom. This will help him associate the desire to void with an actual toilet rather than a colorful plastic seat, which can backfire when you are in a public restroom without the seat.

3. Give Him the Proper Tools

Potty seats come in stand-alone options or those that attach to the toilet seat. The latter are designed to allow a child to comfortably sit on an adult-sized toilet without fear of falling in. If you don't have a potty seat, you are going to have to support your child when he is sitting on the toilet. Get a stool so that he has somewhere to rest his feet, and make sure you are there to hold him until he can support and balance himself on the seat. Some children do better if they straddle an adult toilet while sitting backwards, according to Ask Dr. Sears, because they can support themselves by putting their hands on the tank.

4. Leave the Bathroom Door Open

Here's the thing: Children love to mimic their parents and older siblings. Although your teenager might not participate, if you encourage everyone else in your family to let your toddler watch them use the toilet, your toddler might be more likely to give it a try himself. After all, his family does it and nothing bad happens to them: If he starts to use the toilet, he will be a "big boy" like everyone else.

5. Reward His Hard Work

Don't be above bribing your child to use the toilet. Think of it as a reward for properly listening to his body and taking the appropriate actions. Place a sticker chart next to the toilet, and once he fills up a row, take him for a special day at the park, a small treat at the toy store or even shopping for some superhero underwear. Verbal praise goes a long way also, and it's even more effective if the entire family participates in the praise. At the same time, don't punish him or show disappointment if he makes a mistake -- this may cause him to be afraid to try and backslide in his training.

About the Author

I can write in a wide variety of styles, from academic to humorous (see links to my blog above).

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