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Health & Parenting

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Potty Training the Clean Way

Make potty training easier -- and keep germs at bay -- with these quick toilet training tips for tots.
WebMD Feature

If you're in the midst of potty training your child, you have a lot on your mind. Does she really need to go again, thirty seconds after she said she needed to go -- and didn't? Should he wear pull-ups or underwear? Is she ready to go all night without a diaper? But in the midst of all this, there's something else to think about: cleanliness while you potty train your child.

Successful potty training goes a long way toward keeping your home and environment cleaner, says Donna Duberg, MA, MS, an assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University.

"The longer a child is in diapers, the more opportunity they have to get their hands into a dirty diaper," Duberg tells WebMD. And getting kids out of diapers helps reduce the rashes and abrasions diapers sometimes cause, while keeping disposable diapers out of the landfill -- and their bacteria out of the ground water.

So assuming that your child is ready for potty training, how do you keep everything clean while he or she is learning?

With Potty Training, It's Location, Location, Location

One handy trick can help keep germs at bay and drive the potty training message home at the same time. "Once your child starts toilet training, do all diaper changes and everything else in the bathroom," says Constantinos Kintiroglou, MD, a New Jersey pediatrician. "That sends the message that this is the place where this sort of thing happens, and you will also run into fewer problems with cleanliness in the rest of the house."

Have a potty chair or child seat for an adult toilet in multiple bathrooms, so you don't have to rush to the one bathroom that has the right facilities for your child when the need to go is urgent. That can reduce the number of "halfway there" accidents and the need for cleanup.

The Potty Training Potty Itself

Potty chairs these days come in all varieties -- some literally have bells and whistles. But they haven't invented a self-cleaning potty chair yet. So whether you have a potty seat or an insert for an adult toilet, it will need to be cleaned regularly.

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