Imagine changing your little one’s last diaper; it’s thrilling, isn’t it? Potty training is a significant milestone. You may be eager to say goodbye to the diaper days. Still, its success relies on physical, developmental, and behavioral milestones, not age. It is crucial to gauge whether your little one is ready.
Look for signs that your child has the skills to potty train. Ask yourself the following questions:
Can your child walk and sit on a toilet?
Can your child pull down their pants or shorts and pull them up again?
Can your child remain dry for up to two hours?
Can your child understand and follow basic instructions?
Can your child communicate when they need to go to the bathroom?
Is your child curious about using the toilet or wearing “big-kid” underwear?
If you answered mostly yes, your child might be ready. You might want to wait a bit more if you answered mostly no. Some little ones are easier to potty train than others, but the process usually involves ups and downs.
Here is some guidance on how to begin potty training:
Choose your words. Decide which observations you will use for your child’s bodily fluids. Avoid negative words, such as dirty or stinky.
Decide what’s best for your child to sit on. Some kids fear the big toilet seat, while others want to mimic a parent or an older sibling and use a ring on the toilet bowl. A potty chair can offer a more comfortable position to eliminate without the fear of falling off. Introduce your child to both options and see what she’s more interested in using.
Schedule potty breaks. Have your child sit on the potty chair or toilet without a diaper for a few minutes after every two hours, first thing in the morning and right after naps. Stay with your child while he sits and allow them to get up if they want to. Offer praise for trying and remind them that they can try again later.
Get there – Fast! You should pay attention to your child and respond quickly when you notice signs that a toilet is needed. It can be squirming, squatting, or holding the genital area. Help your child become familiar with these signals, stop what they are doing, and head to the toilet. Remember to praise your child for telling you when they need to go.
Explain hygiene. Teach girls to spread their legs and wipe carefully from front to back. Ensure that your child washes their hand afterward.
Ditch the diaper. After several weeks of triumphant potty breaks and remaining dry during the day, your child might be ready to ditch diapers. Celebrate the transition by considering using a sticker or star chart for positive reinforcement.
It is also possible that your child would resist using the potty chair or toilet or isn’t getting the hang of it in a few weeks; if this happens, you should take a break. Chances are they aren’t ready yet. You can try again in a few months.
Don’t worry if your child is still wetting the bed. Children often have more control over their bowel movements while sleeping than they do over their urine. Most children still wet the bed for months or even years after fully being potty trained during the day.
Accidents happen. Remember to stay calm and be prepared. Do not scold or shame your child. Remember, too, that you can’t compare the progress of two children of the same age to each other since a child progresses at her own pace. To avoid confusing your child, make sure that parents, grandparents, and other caregivers are on the same page with your potty training.
Potty training occurs in phases, and setbacks often happen; the most valuable lesson is patience and listening to your child’s cues.