If you’re reading this, it’s either because you aren’t sure about when to start potty training or because your child is already showing signs of being ready for potty training. In either of the cases, a simple potty training seat won’t do the trick. You’ll need more.
Parents, it’s time to prepare yourself for the next level of parenting!
When should you start potty training your toddler?
As a first-time parent, the most naturally consuming question is ‘when do I start potty training my toddler?’
Most healthy toddlers actually let their parents know when they’re ready, instead of the other way around. Obviously, they won’t say it, but they’ll exhibit a few behavioral patterns and signs indicating their readiness.
They wake up from a nap and they’re dry. Children without any bladder control don’t awaken with a dry diaper. But those who are ready to be potty trained will.
A wet or dirty diaper makes them uncomfortable. You’ll often find them tugging at their diaper and experiencing discomfort.
Their poops are regular. As children grow, their bodies start adapting to the biological clock, regularizing their bowel movements.
They are 18 months old. Sometimes, you don’t need a sign. If your child is showing a usual development, they are ready to be potty trained at 18 months.
Note – Girls typically get ready for potty training sooner than boys. So, don’t be surprised if your daughter begins to show signs before she’s two years old. Alternatively, some toddlers may not be ready until they’re three years old. So, don’t let that keep you up at night!
What to expect during potty training?
Probably the best advice for any parent trying to potty train their toddlers, the only thing you should expect during your training sessions is accidents. There may be one or two or multiple every day, but that’s part of the process.
Even if you use a potty training seat, accidents will happen. But don’t let that discourage you or set you back in your training.
How to help prepare for potty training?
Believe it or not, your toddler is not the only one who’s learning from these sessions. You’re learning just as much about parenting as they are about their own body. And that’s why it’s essential that you prepare yourself enough before teaching your child. Here are some tips that might prove to be useful for you.
Tips for parents
- Be patient
Needless to say, potty training doesn’t happen overnight. It can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months for your toddler to be fully potty trained. So, keep at it.
- Pace yourself
Most pediatricians recommend embracing a child-centric approach. As a parent, you must allow your toddler to set the pace for the training. Let them show a willingness to learn, so you can make the process less stressful for them.
- Know your no-no list
You must avoid associating the act with negative words or ideas. This means you can’t call your child’s poop ‘dirty,’ ‘gross,’ or ‘smelly.’ You might just unknowingly discourage your toddler from doing the job.
- Promote hygiene
Potty training is the perfect opportunity to explain hygiene to your children. For girls, it’s teaching about the front to back rule, which helps them avoid spreading bacteria to their vagina that can lead to UTI. For boys, it’s teaching about properly cleaning their genitals to avoid bacterial growth.
Tips for toddlers
- Be generous with your rewards
The more you motivate your child, the more they’ll be encouraged to finish the training. You can also try making potty training more fun by introducing games, stories, or book reading.
- Let boys pee sitting down
Encourage your son to sit on the potty training seat. Once he’s done, he can stand up to pee. Also, ensure you don’t force him to do so as it might prove to be counterproductive.
- Use pull-up diapers or ditch them altogether
Pull-ups allow your child to easily control their potty breaks. Alternatively, you can allow them to roam without their underpants and keep a close eye for the tell-tale signs.
You can also buy bigger sized underwear for your toddler to make them feel like a grown-up.
3 tried and tested potty training approaches:
Children learn a lot by modeling behavior and observing. Therefore, many parents prefer taking their toddler to the toilet with them to teach them how they can release. It also helps kids normalize toilet training.
As a parent, you must also act out the entire toilet routine for your child to learn from the ‘script.’
2. Allow potty breaks
Set a schedule for your toddler to help them learn when it’s time to go. You can set them before and after the meals, immediately after waking up or breakfast. Avoid overdoing it but make sure it’s enough to prevent accidents.
3. Be on your toes
Some parents actually put on kitchen timers to keep reminding themselves to check on their toddler for any accidents. It can be exhausting but the moment you see them releasing, you can quickly take them to the toilet. This will also help them know where they can let loose and which spots are off-limits.
Can you train your toddler using any potty-training seat?
Apotty training seat is more comfortable than a regular-sized commode for any child. It offers them excellent support as well as a private space, which is exclusively for them. You can also use chairs,step stools, and other such aids to effectively potty train your toddler.
When should you contact a doctor?
As mentioned earlier, it can take up to 6 months to potty train. But sometimes, dietary issues can also lead to kids facing problems with producing the poop. If that’s the case with your toddler, get on the phone with your doctor. Find out the root cause.
Meanwhile, keep trying different approaches to know which one works for you. Potty training is mostly trial and error, but what’s important is that you don’t skip any session.