As we know it’s a daunting task to potty-train a child. Parents often spend so much time worrying about potty training and deliberating over the best way to do it.
So have a look at a few training methods:
- Introduce the Potty:
There's a wide range for the age when children have to start potty training, though it's typically between 18 and 24 months. Talk about potty training occasionally to pique interest.
- Keep a few children's books about potty training lying around your house to read along with your child.
- Bring up the subject of the potty in conversation; say things like, "I wonder if Mickey [or your child's favourite stuffed animal or favourite cartoon character] needs to go potty" or "I have to go pee-pee. I'm headed to the potty." The idea is to raise awareness about going potty to the child and making them comfortable.
- Look for Signs of Readiness:
- Children show an increased interest in using the potty, feel uncomfortable in dirty diapers, talk about the potty, can get dressed by themselves, go to the bathroom on some sort of schedule
- Can follow simple instructions and stay dry for longer periods of time.
These are some signs that your child might be ready for the next step but doesn't need to demonstrate all of these behaviours. Just look to see if the child shows an overall interest in and capability for using the potty.
- Pick and Buy the Right Potty:
- Buy the necessary equipment, either a full potty that sits on the floor or a potty seat that goes on top of the adult toilet.
- Some parents prefer to set up several potties throughout the house (for instance, keeping one in the kitchen or the living room as well as the bathroom),
- But it is better to stick with one potty in the bathroom for repeated use, so you don't have to retrain your child down the road to transition from several potties to one.
- If you choose to use a potty seat, get a step stool, too. "People can't empty their bowels and bladders completely unless their feet are pressing down on the floor.”
- Choose the Right Time:
- Even if your child seems ready, experts say to avoid potty training during transitional or stressful times. For instance, if you're moving, taking a vacation, adding a new baby to the family, going through a divorce, or if your child is starting a new school, postpone the potty training until about a month after the transitional time (or earlier, if your child seems eager to start.)
- Children trying to learn this new skill will do best if they are relaxed and on their regular routine. Some parents prefer to get potty training over with as soon as possible.
- When you do decide it's time to start potty training, keep in mind that if you want your child to go to the bathroom independently, day or night, make sure that they have transitioned out of a crib and are able to get off the bed on their own. This will help kids access a potty 24/7 if they're potty training because they can reach it on their own.
- Demonstrate the Potty Training Methods:
- When you're ready to start training, choose certain times in the day to take your child to the potty (whether or not the child has to go).
- You might want to have them to sit on the potty every two hours, including first thing in the morning, before you leave the house, and before naps and bedtime.
- Tell them to remove their shorts or pants first, underwear (or, if you're using them, training pants) next, and to sit on the toilet for a few minutes (allot more time, if you think they have to poop). Give them a book to read or play a game, to make the time pass in a fun way.
- Then, whether or not they actually go to potty, instruct them to flush and wash their hands. Make sure to always encourage/praise them for trying.
- Teach Proper Hygiene:
- It's important to include a lesson on keeping clean.
- Instruct both girls and boys how to wash themselves, to flush, and to wash their hands with soap and water afterward.
- You can buy sparkly or colourful kid-friendly soap as an incentive to get kids excited about washing their hands.
- Make sure your child is washing long enough by asking them to count to 20 or sing a rhyme while they clean up.
- Offer Praise and Rewards:
- Accidents are a part of the process, some kids still have accidents through age 5 or 6, and many don't stay dry at night until that age (or even later).
- Never punish your child for wetting or soiling his pants; he's just learning and can't help it. In fact, doing so might only make your little one scared of using the potty, and that in turn, will delay the whole process even further.
- Instead, when your child uses the potty successfully, offer gentle praise and a small reward. You might want to use a sticker chart -- your child receives a sticker every time they go to potty. After they have earned, say three stickers, they get a small prize.