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Surviving the Potty Training Challenge

Make Your Own Potty Training Story Book

I never liked the idea of paying money for potty training books, especially since it’s a book that the child will grow out of pretty quickly . . . it just doesn’t seem worth the money to me.

Plus, when I was looking at all the potty training books, I never came across one that was well fitted for our family. It seems like every family has their own words and ways of talking about “private” topics.

At any rate, I decided it would be best if I just went ahead and made our own little “potty training book”. I am posting the files below so that you can use them if you would like. It’s fairly simple to do . . .

1) Make Sure You Have the Right Program

I made the booklet using Adobe Photoshop Elements. So if you have that program you can open and edit all the pages however you like.

2) Personalize the Pages

Open each of the files and change whatever you want to personalize the book for your child. Add your own pictures and change whatever text you want.

>> Cover

>> Page 1

>> Page 2

>> Page 3

>> Page 4

>> Page 5

>> Page 6

>> Page 7

>> Page 8

>> Page 9

>> Page 10

>> Page 11

>> Page 12

>> Page 13

>> Page 14

>> Page 15

>> Page 16

>> Page 17

>> Page 18

>> Page 19

>> Page 20

>> Page 21

>> Page 22

3) Print to PDF

I use a program called doPDF to convert pictures to a PDF document. It is a FREE program that works really well. You can download the FREE doPDF program here.

To use the doPDF program, simply name each of your pages as an individual picture (either JPG or PNG format), then highlight all the pages, right click on the first picture and select “print”. You will print the pictures the same as if you were using a normal printer, except you will use the doPDF print driver which will convert them into a PDF document. Need help? Watch a tutorial on YouTube . . . How to Download, Install, and Use doPDF

4) Print Your Booklet

Now that all your pages are in a single PDF document it will be very simple to print it as a booklet format.

Simply open the PDF document using Adobe Reader, click “File” and then “Print”.

The print screen will open and there should be a “Booklet” option given under the “Page Sizing & Handling” section. Be sure to set the printer to do double sided printing.

From there, Adobe will do all the work of rearranging the pages and compiling them in the correct order so that pages will print in a booklet format.

5) Cut and Staple

Since there are several pages, I find it works best to cut the pages in half instead of trying to fold all the sheets. Then staple the booklet together and you should have a completed project.

Here is what our booklet looked like when completed . . .

YouTube Potty Training Videos

Another thing I didn’t want to spend money on is videos for potty training. Again, it’s something that the child will grow out of quickly, and I just couldn’t justify the price to buy them.

Fortunately, YouTube has a couple of great videos on the topic, and they’re free for viewing. So we just used YouTube as a resource and it worked really well for us.

I would say our favorites were:

>> Elmo’s Potty Time

>> Hello Kitty “Going to the Bathroom”

Potty Training Tips

There are a lot of articles and blog sites out there with tips and strategies to help with potty training, so I am not going to elaborate too much here on this page.

What I do want to say, though, is that no matter how “easy” other moms may make it sound, potty training is always a challenge at best, and can often be very frustrating for parent and child.

My advice is . . .

1) Pray

I’m not kidding with this one. You can spend all your time complaining about how difficult potty training is. You can spend all your energy trying to motivate your child and convince them that it’s time to “grow up” and use the potty like a big girl/boy. But you can lead your child to the bathroom but you can’t make them go.

The truth is, only God can give your child the desire to mature in this way. Only God can help your child to embrace the changes that come with growing older. Only God can give you the patience and the strength to endure the process of potty training your child. Only God can make your efforts successful.

My daughter was actually the one to teach me this important lesson. She was the one who would sit down on her potty, fold her hands, and tell me that we needed to pray.

She knew better than I that if we were going to have any success with the potty training we needed Jesus to help us.

Pray first. Pray lots. It’s the biggest thing you can do to guarantee success.

2) Be Consistent

Your child will only be as consistent in using the potty as the parent is in taking them. Do you research. Gather your supplies. Determine what method of potty training you want to do and what reward system you are going to use, and then stick to it!

3) Use a Timer

If you expect your child to be the one to initiate or let you know when they have to go, you’re likely to deal with a lot of messes. Set a timer to help you remember to take your child to the bathroom.

At first it may have to be every 20 - 30 minutes, later on, you can extend it if you find your child isn’t able to go that frequently. But get your child sitting on the potty frequently, and set a timer so you don’t forget.

4) Keep a Positive Attitude

There are going to be accidents and messes. There are going to be moments of frustration and times of failure. There are going to be some days that are worse than others. But stay positive. If you have a negative, grumpy attitude as you’re taking your child to the bathroom, they are going to develop a negative impression of using the potty and will be less inclined to want to.

You want your child to want to use the potty. Make it a positive experience for them. Give them lots of hugs and praise when they do well. Give them little treats and rewards as they make progress. Give them potty training books and videos they can engage in while sitting on the potty. And always be positive and reassuring even when accidents happen.