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Toilet Training Practice

Once your child learns how to use the toilet, she will need practice. Read this page for help with potty training practice.

Daytime training
After she uses the toilet successfully:

  • Let your child wear underwear during the day. She will feel the wet or dry more this way.
  • Some parents like using the training pants better, but these keep your child dry. If she does not feel the difference between wet and dry, her training may take longer.

Nighttime training
If your child knows how to use the toilet during the day, you can train her to stay dry at night. Read these tips on potty training your child at night:

girl with bear

  • Do not give her anything to drink two or three hours before she goes to sleep.
  • Make her go to bed everyday at the same time.
  • You may want to let her wear underwear at night
  • Take her to use the toilet before she goes to bed and immediately after she wakes up. Wake her after she had been sleeping for two or three hours and take her to the potty one more time. Do this before you go to sleep.
  • Keep everything calm and quiet. Before falling asleep read a book or talk with your child. Don't play exciting games, they can make her pee.
  • Expect your child to come visit you during the night. She may have had an accident or she may need to use the toilet.

Use a 'bell pad' bed alarm
If your child wets her bed, you may want to buy a bell pad bed alarm:

  • When water or pee touches the pad an alarm goes off and wakes her.
  • It trains her to wake up before she has to pee.
  • Ask your pediatrician to recommend a brand or type. Use the alarm until your child is dry every night for one month.
  • In most alarms, the pee sets off a loud sound that wakes the child up.
  • A silent, vibrating alarm is also available for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Go to wetbuster.com, bedwettingstore.com or pottypager.com for more information.

Potty train while on a family trip
Your child needs to do some things on her own before she starts using the toilet outside the home. If she still uses the training potty, you may want to bring it with you on your trips. When you travel with your child:

  • Make sure she knows how to use the restroom.
  • Keep the first few trips short.
  • Use the handicap or family bathroom. This gives you more room.
  • Always go with your child when she goes to a public restroom.
  • Watch your child's diet. Changes in diet during a trip may change the times when she usually uses the potty.

Things Not To Do

  • Don't start potty training when things are stressful. This could be when you have a new baby, or when you are moving to another home.
  • Don't push your child too fast. Don't force her to be potty trained. Leave it for later when she shows she is ready or when she wants to get potty trained.
  • Don't punish mistakes or accidents. Do not pay too much attention to an accident. Help your child to try to not do it again.

Next: How to Help Your Child

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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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