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Note: The terms Potty Training Toilet Training are used interchangeably.
Potty training is inevitable at some point in a child’s life and if you are worried that your child isn’t potty trained at the same age compared to his/her peers, be rest assured that he/she will be potty trained at some point.
One of the biggest success factors for potty training is waiting until a child is developmentally ready versus trying to force the process.
We’ve heard that potty training generally tends to be easier with girls and most boys aren’t fully potty trained until about 3years old regardless of how early one starts so take a breath and relax…
Potty Training Signs
A huge part of figuring out the appropriate time is whether or not your child shows signs of readiness such as he/she:
Asks to be changed when the diaper is wet/soiled from poop
Points out the bathroom
Indicates interest in going with you, flushing
Tells you about needing to pee/poop
Below are some useful tips for potty training. Also check out the Product Reviews section and Shopto check out/purchase some of our favorite Potty Training tools mentioned below.
1. Be Confident:confidence is the key in potty training. Approaching toilet training with thoughts of negativity will result in the child responding in the same manner. Most mothers who fear potty training also pass on their fears to fellow parents when they tell about their difficulties with it.
2. Pick an appropriate time to start: if one is prepared for it, half the battle is won. Deciding when to start potty training the child is the first and most important decision to make. Making the decision alone is not enough; one must stick with the decided date. Also, major changes in family life (such as a move or new baby) should be avoided around the date picked – postpone if you have to as such events will take away your focus from potty training and hinder success. Planning what to say to your child and how to implement the strategies is very important.
3. Use the right tools
Potty - deciding whether to get a stand-alone potty or one that goes right on the toilet can be difficult as each child reacts differently so try both until you figure out which your child prefers initially. You might also find that your child will switch preferences as they become potty trained. If your child attends daycare, also try to mimic the school environment so your child doesn’t feel burdened by the changes from one place to the other.
Underwear – you can switch right to underwear or pull-ups depending on your preference and bank account. One way to balance it out is to use regular underwear during the day at daycare and pull-ups at night or during outings that are prolonged or might be inconvenient to use the bathroom. For boys, we’ve also discovered boxer-briefs for those who love to mimic dads in every way.
Waterproof Mattress Liner – once you get to a point when you want to potty train at night, the liner would be very useful (if you don’t already use it). Liners come in different bed sizes for the fitted kind and you can also get liner sheets that don’t fit the entire bed but can be placed under your child at night. We prefer the fitted sheet as you don’t have to worry about accidents if your child moves around while sleeping.
Technology aids – a timer can be useful for remembering to put your child on the potty at regular intervals. For techy moms, there are apps that help with this as well but a simple reminder on your phone should do (e.g. the Pull-Ups iGo Potty ). Some of these apps have rewards, sounds etc for your little one.
Portable Potty/disposable toilet liners.
4. Involve everyone (spouse, babysitter, daycare provider):having everyone in the household involved is very essential. If everyone the child interacts with uses the same words and same techniques, the child might respond to it better. Anything on the contrary will result in the child not knowing which instruction to follow as far as potty training is concerned. The childcare provider must also be involved especially since this is whom your child spends the bulk of the day with.
5. Be Consistent:many parents don’t adhere to their potty training regime fully.Once you decide to potty train the child and put her in normal underwear, it’s unwise to put her back on diapers for the sake of convenience. This is done by the parents during a busy day or when they think they don’t have time for potty training. This will only confuse the child more and such actions can make potty training harder and longer. We recommend using pull ups when necessary as these are similar to underwear and create less confusion.
Take your toddler to the bathroom to potty at regular intervals even if he/she doesn’t want to. Initially, every hour and it can move up as your child becomes better trained and actually lets you know when he/she wants to go.
6. Prepare for all situations:while it’s not advised to use a diaper once potty training is started, it can make trips very difficult and is one of the most difficult parts of potty training. This can be overcome by carrying a portable potty during trips since the child, during the early stage of potty training, cannot hold his or her pee very long. Also have disposable toilet covers for use of public toilet spaces.
7. Reward, Reward, Reward:we all like to be rewarded so make a big deal out of the first and every use of the potty until your child is fully potty trained. Clapping, loud noises and praise singing are great ways. Also, announcing to the spouse or another adult works wonders – e.g. “Mommy, did you know “baby’s name” peed in the potty?” while your toddler is within earshot, and if possible, get them to acknowledge loudly (via clapping or other loud and fun sounds).
Share your tips in the comments below and/or in the Potty Training discussion.
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