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How to Get a Child to Sit on the Big Toilet

by Kimberly Dyke, studioD

Potty training can be an exhausting experience for parents and children alike. Whether you are at the beginning of your potty-training journey or up to your elbows in frustration, take heart that your child will eventually learn how to sit on the big toilet. Some children are afraid of being flushed away, while others are simply unsure of the whole thing. Maintain a positive attitude and remember that your child will most likely not head off to college with his potty seat.

Step 1

Set the example for your child by demonstrating how to use the toilet. Let your child watch you or your spouse -- depending on your child’s gender -- whenever you go to the bathroom. Ask cousins or siblings if your child can observe them using the toilet to reinforce that the big toilet is for people of all ages.

Step 2

Get a toddler-sized potty seat to place on each toilet in the house. Place a step stool in front of the toilet so his feet can rest firmly while he is sitting on the potty. Set books about going potty on the counter next to the toilet or in a basket on the floor to help pass the time while sitting.

Step 3

Give your tot the opportunity to try out his new potty seat. Let him sit on it fully clothed, undressed or in a diaper. Read through some of his special potty books that are in the bathroom. Tell him what a big boy he is by sitting on the big toilet.

Step 4

Dump the contents of your child’s poopy diaper into the big toilet each time he has an accident. Say, “See, this is where your poop goes. Maybe next time you can go poop in the big toilet all by yourself.” Let your child flush the toilet and say, “Bye-bye!” to the contents. Show him how to wash his hands every time use uses the bathroom.

Step 5

Celebrate and reward your child for each attempt and success at using the big toilet. Create a sticker chart, offer small prizes and take trips to the zoo or park. Offer positive reinforcement and verbal praise to encourage your tot to keep trying.

Tip

  • Do not scold your child for having an accident or not wanting to use the big toilet. Encourage him to try again later when he is ready.

About the Author

Kimberly Dyke is a Spanish interpreter with a B.A. in language and international trade from Clemson University. She began writing professionally in 2010, specializing in education, parenting and culture. Currently residing in South Carolina, Dyke has received certificates in photography and medical interpretation.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images