Potty training can be a confusing task, especially when you are starting out. However, it can be relatively easy when following a few tips. It’s good to remember than every child is unique when it comes to potty training. So some may adapt quicker than others. The secret is to exercise patience and keep the journey fun for your kid. Potty training is a major milestone so you need to get the right timing, technique and handle inevitable accidents.
When to start potty training
There is no specific age when to start potty training. Success is based on physical and emotional readiness. Most kids show an interest in potty training at age 2 but others might stay a bit longer until they are say 2 ½ years or older. As a parent or guardian, don’t rush. Starting too early may actually mean a longer training period.
Before determining whether your child is ready, there are a couple of things you should consider. Establish whether the child is interested in the toilet or potty chair, or in wearing underwear, can the child understand and follow basic instructions; can your child sit and rise in a potty chair? These are just but some of the questions you should ask yourself.
If the answer to most of these questions is yes, your child might be ready for potty training. However, if most answers are no, you might have to wait until the child is ready. A toddler opposing potty training today might be open to the idea in a few months.
Once you have made the decision to begin training, adopt a positive mindset and recruit all your child’s caregivers to do the same.
Pull out the equipment
You can initially start by placing the potty where the child spends most of his or her time before taking it to the bathroom. Encourage your child to sit on the chair, with or without a diaper. Make sure his or her feet are firmly rested on the floor or a stool.
Help your kid understand how to talk about the bathroom in simple and correct terms. You can show the purpose of the potty by dumping the contents of a dirt diaper into the potty.
Schedule potty breaks
If your child shows interest, have him or her sit on the potty chair or toilet without a diaper for a few minutes several times a day. You can give him or her a toy to use when in the bathroom. The main idea is to embrace the idea of using the potty. Offer praise even if your child just sits there and remind your kid that he or she can try again later. An easy way to maintain consistency is to bring your portable potty or potty chair with your whenever you are away from home.
Get there fast
When you notice signs that your kid may need to use the toilet, such as squatting, squirming or holding the genital area, respond fast. Stop what he or she is doing and head to the toilet. This helps the child familiarize with these signals. Also, praise the child for telling you when he or she has to go. Make sure your child washes his or her hands afterwards.
Kids are different in terms of the incentives they respond to most. Some may respond to extra bedtime stories while others will respond better to stars on a chart. Reinforce your child’s effort with verbal praise even if the trip to the toilet isn’t successful.
Get rid of the diapers
After a few weeks of successful potty breaks, try switching the diapers for underwear or training pants. This is a transition to celebrate and there is nothing wrong with going on a special outing. You can even let your child pick his or her underwear. Once your child is wearing regular underwear or training pants, avoid any other items such as belts and leotards that could hinder undressing.
Most children master controlling their bladder in the daytime, often after about two to three months of consistent potty training. Nighttime training might take several months or even years to master. In the meantime make use of mattress covers or disposable training pants when your child sleeps.
Know when to take a break
If your child resists using the toilet or potty chair or isn’t getting the hang of it after some weeks of training, it may be time to take a break. There are high chances that he or she is not ready yet. You can try again in a few months.
When to seek help
Note that accidents do happen and near misses may occur. However, if your potty trained kid, especially at 4 years or older, loses ground or reverts, there could be an underlying problem and you should contact his or her doctor.
Wetting problems can at times indicate an underlying physical condition such as overactive bladder or urinary tract infection. helping your child to become accident free means getting prompt treatment.
We hope to have made things a bit easier this way for those who have been asking themselves When To Start Potty Training.