Your little one is no longer a baby and it’s about time for potty training! In order for this process to be as easy as possible, both for the child and for his parents, grandparents or babysitters, experts recommend that potty training should start at the age of one and a half, when the child starts developing some control over his sphincters.

And you need to arm yourself with patience, because, obviously, there will be situations when he won’t be able to reach the potty on time, or when he will even refuse to sit on a certain potty or on a potty in general.

Here are a few tips that parents have been using successfully to turn potty training into a game, a fun activity for everyone involved.

 “The wind is blowing. When the child refuses to sit on the potty, you can try the following game. While saying “The wind is blowing”, gently blow into one of his palms, then in the other one, then on his forehead, on his nose and on his belly. The child will relax and you will be able to place him on the potty, while continuing to whisper “The wind is blowing on your knees, on your little feet, on your little fingers…” He will be more relaxed and it will probably be easier to do what we expect him to do.

“Just like the little girl / boy in this picture”. Children are great at imitating and daydreaming. We can take advantage of this when the time comes to leave diapers behind. Parents shouldn’t just offer him “the best potty in the world”, but they should surround him with pictures of children who are sitting on one as well. Many children like this and eventually start asking themselves: “Mommy, let’s do like this little boy / girl in the picture does”.

The advantage of being explicit. A little boy, who was one year and eight months old, knew very well what that red potty was good for, and he even used it to pee. But for more serious business, he went back to his Pampers. His mother solved this problem by using the following trick: at some point, when the little boy went in his diaper again, she changed him and placed the dirty diaper in the potty. The little boy was initially very surprised, but then he figured out what was going on, and dirty underwear became a thing of the past.

A helping hand from the teddy bear. A toddler’s favourite toy was a teddy bear. When time came to learn about the potty, his mother had a smart idea: she taught the child how to make the toy go potty, showing him that it wasn’t a bad, but a necessary thing. She told the child: “Teddy wants to go potty”, and he would proudly place the toy on the toilet. Soon, the child understood that he could do the same.

Mommy sets the example. Here is one solution that worked for a mother with a very stubborn little girl, who completely refused to go potty. Even more, the naughty girl didn’t want her mommy going to the bathroom all by herself either. So her mom found a way: she placed the child on the potty next to her, in the bathroom, and gently explained the entire process.

The benefits of water. To teach a boy to use the potty, one mom used this trick: she would place him on the potty and she would distract him with all sorts of funny games, while in the meantime she would sneak a cup of water into the potty. Then they would throw the water out and wash the container together. The child was intrigued and he started to sit on the potty and check, every once in a while, if something had appeared there. Soon, this family had gotten rid of diapers.

Target practice. Another trick that worked wonders on a little boy who liked to play, but hated the potty, was the following. One day, his dad suggested his little champ tried a new game. He drew a target on the bottom of the potty and challenged his son to “hit the target”. The boy loved the game and everything went smoothly.

Bathtub toys. Another mom taught her little boy how to pee in a potty by using his bathtub toys. In their case, the child’s favourite was a turtle (with a hole). The mother put water inside the turtle, and then squeezed it saying: “Oh, my! The turtle is peeing!” The child followed the process with interest and then he peed. The next morning, his mom placed him on the potty and asked him to show her how the turtle peed. The boy immediately showed her, then he proudly got up. In the next two or three days, she placed him on the potty every 20 or 30 minutes, then less and less. In three weeks, the little one had already formed the reflex of urinating only when he sat on the potty.

What do you thing about these 8 fun games for stress free potty training?