As a new parent, we are faced with many obstacles to overcome and things to learn, among them is potty training. Toilet training your child is an important aspect of everyday life, properly teaching your child about the toilet, how to use it, and how to maintain good hygiene can be very frustrating when combined with all the other aspects of being a new parent. Trust me, I understand!
Potty training methods come in various shapes and sizes; some children are potty trained starting at a very young age and others are introduced to it at a later time. Whichever method you choose, should fit your lifestyle and personality of your child. Whether you are a stay at home mom or you work full time, choose a method that is right for you and remember, it is a learning process for both parents and baby so have patience because your baby can do it.
This is a method made popular in more recent years. In using this method, potty training begins immediately. In creating a constant routine of putting your baby on the potty, they will begin to recognize the sights, sounds, and feelings associated with using the potty. While your new baby won’t be able to immediately control these bodily functions, they will learn when and where they need to be when it’s time to potty. Brace yourselves moms, this is incredibly difficult to manage, so consistency and routine is key to success in this method.
Potty training can begin whenever you and your child are ready. This could mean when they are in the toddler stage, typically around age two. Usually, a toddler begins to show interest in the bathroom or signs that they are ready to go potty, thus signaling to the parent that they are ready to be trained. Within a few days of routine and training, your toddler can be able to successfully use the potty. This is a type of self-led training and can be very successful for interested toddlers.
Let Them Train Themselves
This is a method that is based solely on the interest of the child and can mean that your child is in disposable diapers or training pants longer. Remember, potty training is easier when the child is interested and the action isn’t forced. If you try to force an unwilling toddler into potty training, they may melt down and regress in their training.
Tips for Successful Potty Training
Lower Your Expectations
Learning to use the potty can be a challenging experience for children and parents. Try not to overcomplicate it by setting unreasonable expectations. Have fun with it, make it a game, and use this time to your advantage. With repetition and a positive attitude, your toddler will follow your lead and be trained faster when the learning environment is comfortable.
Start Training Early
This can be daunting and time-consuming, but the earlier you begin training, the faster your child will catch on and be more receptive to learning. Knowing the signs is key, if your baby starts grunting like they are about to poop, pull the diaper off and sit them directly on the toilet. Not only will this get them used to the potty and the bathroom, but you won’t have to clean up such a big poopy mess either. A win-win!
Take Your Time
There is absolutely no need to rush this process and if you try to, this could cause a negative result in which, your child may revert to pre-potty training ways. Always, remember slow and steady works more efficiently and effectively than rushing. It’s not a race and there isn’t a competition to be won. Pace yourself and your child to keep the learning experience free from tantrums.
Accidents WILL Happen
It’s important to remember that accidents will happen. Whether you are out and about or at home, your child is bound to have an accident here or there during the potty training process and it’s completely normal. Don’t get upset or angry with your child. Positive reinforcement goes a lot further than being mad or upset. Keep in mind that mistakes are not failures. The pee-pee dance and grabbing at the crotch area are tell-tale signs that the child may be “holding” and are an indication to have them go potty. Recognizing these signs will further help the training process.
Praise Every Single Success
Every step you take in potty training your child is a learning process and when your child is successful, praise will encourage them to continue learning. It doesn’t matter if you jump up and down, sing a special song, provide them with treats or toys, praise alone can be the make it or break it point in the successfulness of potty training.
Purchase Items Necessary for Training
In my experience, the most successful tool in potty training is a potty seat that fits right over top of the existing seat. When using one of these seats, you don’t have to dump out or clean anything associated with where they left their poo. It just goes right in the toilet and down the drain; easy peasy. Get a step stool so your child can easily climb up and down on their own. Letting them have a bit of independence in the process will encourage them in the correct direction. A waterproof mattress pad will save your bedding for night time accidents.
Be Prepared When Leaving Home
The moment you step outside of your home, your child is out of their comfort zone. Making sure you have everything your child might need when you leave your home will help you keep your sanity. Training pants and a travel potty seat will be helpful. Have you seen public toilets? They are much larger than home toilets and can sometimes have a loud, scary sound. Giving your child something that is similar to what they have at home, will teach them that they can go in other bathrooms comfortably.
Your Child Might Regress
It’s completely okay for your child to regress. It happens to many children during the training process. Just remember that positive reinforcement and consistency are what keeps the training moving forward. Recognizing again that mistakes and regression are not failures, they are simply part of the learning experience, and continued encouragement will keep your child going in the right direction.
Yay! You did it! Your child did it! Once your child is potty trained you’ll find an immediate sense of accomplishment. You’re going to be so proud of your little one that you’ll be beaming with joy. Telling all of your friends and family what a successful journey it was and how happy you are to be diaper free. This is an excellent time to begin teaching your child about good hygiene and handwashing techniques. Potty training can be stressful, but don’t let it overwhelm you or your child. There may be times when you need to take a break or step back and reassess your situation or the techniques you’re using. There is no handbook on how to be a parent and every child is different. Your child will be successful, it may only take you a month of training, or it could take you 6 months of training, but they will learn it and once they do, you’ll forget about those yucky diapers and move on to teaching them other things. Like cleaning up their rooms when they’re done playing, riding a bike, or sending them off to college. Your child can do it, I believe in them and I believe in you.