Potty training your child could be a big challenge, especially if it is your firstborn. You may be a little nervous wondering if you are doing everything correctly to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Potty training is a natural part of a child’s development and can be made easier just by understanding factors that indicate your child is ready to begin learning the task.
One important thing to stay away from is thinking that potty training has to take place at a specific age. Children develop different skills at different ages and every child is unique. Therefore you can not expect your child to lean how to potty train at the same age your best friend’s child learned.
Instead be patient and understanding.
Trying to potty train a child before they are ready could results in many setbacks. If the child does not understand what is happening and why you are taking them into the bathroom they may become discouraged and even afraid of the bathroom. This could add to the length of time it takes your child to learn how to use the potty. Therefore, you need to wait until your child is old enough to understand just what using the potty means.
This would include things like knowing when your child is beginning to have better control over their bladder because they or staying dry more often. Also, when they show signs that they do not like having their pants wet or soiled then you can feel sure they are beginning to understand and its time to start potty training. They should also be coordinated enough to be able to pull their pants up and down.
After all, if they cannot perform this task it would be difficult to use the potty and may begin to discourage them. You can help in this area by providing clothing that is easier for the child to remove.
Children are very curious and love to watch what you do, by allowing them to observe you in the bathroom they will begin to understand and want to imitate this action. Have a potty chair ready for your child and explain to them what it is and how to use it. Keeping a light on in the bathroom can also help considering most light switches are too high for a child to reach. If they are spending too much time trying to get the light on then it may be too late to use the potty. One of the most important steps in potty training your child would be to never yell at them for accidents and always let them know you are proud of them.
When it comes to potty training, timing is everything. If you start when your child isn’t ready, it will just take longer. However, if you miss the right opportunity, your child may resist the process more when you try later on. So, just how do you know when to begin?
First of all – forget what your mom told you about having you potty trained by the time you were eighteen months old. She probably just had herself trained to sit you on the toilet at regular intervals, which is not the same as being fully potty trained.
It’s really best not to even think about potty training until your child is two. But, for most children, the right time will hit sometime between the ages of two and three.
When your child is ready to begin potty training, he will show an interest. He will begin to want to observe your toilet habits and will ask questions. Explain that big people go to the potty instead of using a diaper. Even if it makes you uncomfortable, let your child go to the bathroom with you and watch. If you have a son, make sure Daddy is taking him to the bathroom with him, too. Daddy will probably resist this, though I’m not really sure why, since public restrooms make public urination a regular occurrence for the average male! There are several good story books on the market about potty training that you can start reading to him your child at this stage, to help encourage an interest in going potty.
There are books geared specifically to boys and those geared to girls, which is helpful. (I’ve listed a few at the bottom of this page)
It is very important that you don’t make your baby feel self-conscious or fearful during potty training. It can be very difficult to potty train your baby so you have to be patient above all else.
Make sure your baby is ready for potty training. They need to be able to let you know when they need to potty and they need to be able, physically to use the facilities.
Use positive encouragement. Forcing them to sit on the potty until they go will only lead to setbacks in your baby’s potty training. If you force them, it will create negative thoughts about using the bathroom that may last a long time.
You may even cause your baby to withhold letting you know they need to potty.
If there is a lot going on in your life, such as vacations, marriages, divorces, etc., then it may be a bad time to start your baby’s potty training. Your routine should be as normal as possible while you take your baby through this process.
Don’t let anyone tell you that your baby’s potty training should take any specific amount of time. Every child is unique and while some may learn in three days, others may take as long as a year. Don’t stress on this point or force them to learn faster than they can. Take even small progress as a positive sign and show your baby how proud you are of them when they do well.
Accidents will happen. It’s normal.
Don’t make it out to be a big deal. Get them to help you clean up the mess and wait until next time to encourage them to use the potty. Overreacting to accidents will only lead to more accidents and again set back your baby’s progress.
Make sure you dress your baby in clothes that are easy to manage. They may wait until it’s almost too late to make it to the potty, then because of the clothes fail. Again, that can discourage them and set back your baby’s progress. Nude is the ultimate way to let your baby run around while potty training. If you are uncomfortable with that, then make sure they have as few snaps, zipper, bows, or buttons to deal with. Clothing that just pulls up or down is the easiest type of clothing to dress your baby in while potty training.
For the little girls, make sure they wear two piece bathing suits for swimming so they won’t have a harder time than little boys. Also, remember winter may not be the best time to potty train your baby. The need for extra clothing during winter will hamper your baby’s efforts to use the potty.
Bed-wetting, or enuresis is not solved through potty training and is a separate issue altogether. Don’t expect that as you complete potty training that bedwetting will also stop at the same time. Many children don’t stop wetting the bed until they are 4 years old. Babies under 3 don’t have the bladder control to stop this yet. Children that are sleeping don’t have the mental capacity to know they need to wake up, go to the bathroom, and use the toilet.
Keep your baby’s fears about potty training in mind. The loud flush of the toilet in a confined space might be frightening to your baby. If they slip and their bottom touches the water in the toilet, they can be traumatized to the point that you will have to stop potty training for awhile. Seeing something come out of them and then flushing down the toilet can even scare them. Remember their fears are real and their minds don’t quite comprehend what is happening to them.
Another thing to consider is, your baby may not want to change certain things. They may feel secure in diapers. The fact that you have been changing their diaper and taking care of them may have them comfortable with that process and may make it difficult for them to begin taking care of themselves.
This loss of intimacy is frightful to your baby. Your child may not become independent so easily. This is also normal. Make sure in the beginning that you spend time with them to be close and intimate with them after potty time so they don’t miss the time you spent with them when they were wearing diapers and you took care of them.
Another good sign that your child is ready for potty training is his ability to pull his pants up and down by himself. If your child has mastered this step of dressing, potty training will go much more smoothly.
Another important physical sign of potty training readiness is the frequency with which your child urinates. If he is still wetting his diaper every half and hour or so, he is not ready. But, if he’s going one to two hours between wet diapers, then he is able to hold his urine, which is critical to being truly potty trained, at any age.
If you think your child is ready for potty training, check out my article in “Mommy to Mommy – the Truth About Taking Care Of Baby”, where I outline some potty training strategies designed to make this developmental hurdle as painless as possible, for you and the little one.
Have you tried potty training your child and it just isn’t going well? Some children fight every potty training attempt you will make, while other children are interested in potty training. You as a parent will be able to tell when your child is ready to start potty training. Two or three years of age is the average age for your child to start the potty training process. Here are some simple methods to help make it easier on both you and your child.
1. Start practicing using the toilet around the age of two. Go out and purchase a small potty chair or a potty seat that fits over the regular sized toilet. If you are potty training a boy make it has a shield in front so they do not make a mess. Bring the potty chair into the room that your child spends most of their time in on a day or weekend when you have some free time. Let your child run around in just a shirt with their diaper off. If this nudity bothers you then have your son or daughter wear underwear. If you have them in a diaper they will never get the idea that when they urinate it will run down their legs and make a mess.
2. Clear your schedule before starting to potty train your child. Pick a time when you know that you and your family’s routine it least likely to be disturbed with vacations, guests, moving to a new house and so on. Long holiday weekends are a great time to start potty training your little one.
3. Decide what words you will use to describe body parts, urine and bowel movements. Try not to use words like “dirty”, “stinky,” or “naughty”. Using these negative terms can make your child feel self-conscience and ashamed. Talk about urination and bowel movements in a simple, matter-of-fact way.
4. Use your child’s favorite action figure or doll on a pretend potty, explaining “the baby is going pee in the potty.” Put diapers on their favorite stuffed bear and then eventually graduate the bear to underwear.
5. Discuss with your child the advantages of being potty trained. Talk to them about not having diaper rashes anymore, not having to take time away from playing to have their diaper changed and the wonderful feeling of being clean and dry. Help them understand that potty training is an important stage of growing up.
6. Use books and videos to help your child understand the process of potty training and see other children learning to use the potty. There are lots of books and videos available online or in your local bookstore. Let your child look at their favorite book while sitting on the potty to help the minutes pass by.
7. Get out your calendar and declare a potty day. This is the day that your child would like to start potty training. Use a bright color and circle that date. Keep reminding them that “potty day” is almost here.
8. Does your son or daughter like to unroll the toilet paper? Try squashing the roll so that the cardboard roll inside is no longer round. This way, it will not unroll as quickly. Also, little ones who are potty training will not get too much paper per pull on the roll.
Usually it takes several practice sessions for a child to understand what they are supposed to be doing and be totally potty trained. Just remember to keep trying, your child will eventually understand and be successful.
Thank you for reading this article on Potty Training. Please check back with us as we add new articles, blogs and videos daily!
Follow Us On Pinterest & Facebook
Here are some other blogs and videos that also cover Potty Training:
Wed, 29 May 2013 13:55:16 GMT
It’s not easy to stay mindful during potty training, but gratitude can help. It’s really hard to feel grateful when I’m cleaning up a poop accident in the middle of Panera … Even though potty training is all about getting through and moving on, many parents have learned the hard way that pushing our children at any stage of the process tends to make it harder or derail it completely. The trick (which I have yet to master, but I’m working on every day!) is to hold our potty …
Tue, 14 May 2013 19:14:51 GMT
Potty Training Boys the Easy Way: Helping Your Son Learn Quickly–Even If He’s a Late Starter book download Caroline Fertleman, Simone Cave Download Potty Training Boys the Easy Way: Helping Your Son Learn …
Sat, 25 May 2013 07:28:14 GMT
potty training girls It’s finally time, or is it? Potty training your girl can’t successfully begin until she is ready. How do you know she is ready? Can your daughter pull her pants up and down by herself? If so, she may be ready for potty training. … Either way, she gets praise. Once your daughter has the hang of things she will most likely take off and use her potty for all of her potty needs. She may even wish to potty train her dolls and the pets. Remember that there will be …