Potty Training - When to do it and Tips for Success
Potty training is a difficult time and frustrating time period. The key to success is ensuring your child is ready and having patience. Potty training is complex and can be difficult. Many children struggle with it and learning styles can be different for each child. Knowing when to start potty training, tips and tricks, and setbacks you can expect, make it easier to deal with the struggles of potty training.
When to start potty training
Many parents are very eager to start the potty training journey, but while you may be ready that doesn’t mean your child is. Not only does your child need the necessary motor skills but they will also need proper communication skills. In general, children are ready to begin potty training around 2-3 years of age. Many times they will begin to show signs that they are ready to start potty training on their own. For example, they may begin to show interest in the toilet, they may start to tell you or communicate to you when they have to go to the bathroom, and they may come to you to change their diaper soon after they have gone in it. The best way to determine if your child is ready is to ask yourself the following questions?
- Is your child able to travel to and get onto the toilet?
- Can your child pull their pants up and down by themselves?
- Do they understand directions?
- Are they able to communicate their need to use the restroom?
- Can your child hold it for more than a couple of hours?
- Do they seem interested in potty training?
If your child can do most or all of the above then they are probably ready to begin potty training. If they cannot do most or any of the above then they are probably not ready to begin potty training. In addition to your child, you need to be prepared for potty training as well. You will need to have the time and patience to deal with the ups and downs of potty training. In addition, you will need to prepare yourself for accidents and setbacks. Potty training is not easy and quick, it takes a while and can be mentally draining. Make sure you are ready to deal with it.
Steps for potty training
Once you have determined that you are ready to begin potty training, there are a few steps to take before you begin the actual training.
Build up positive bathroom associations. Let them come into the restroom with you and see what you are doing. Toddlers are naturally curious and they like to imitate what they see. If you demonstrate to them how to use the restroom, properly wipe, and flush the toilet they will likely want to imitate you.
Get them excited about potty training. Your toddler has to want to use the restroom on their own. To do this many parents go with them to the store and let them pick out their “big boy/girl underwear.” This gives them an incentive to want to use the restroom properly so they can wear their new underwear.
You will need to get the necessary equipment. Some children prefer their own smaller potty to go in, while others prefer to use the big potty right away. For training potties, make sure they are stable and durable so that they won’t tip over by accident. For adult potties, you can get a small seat attachment that makes it easier for them to sit on.
Start to make the connection. You have probably become very attuned to your child’s tells. When they begin to show signs that they need to use the restroom, or that they have used the restroom, ask them if they need to use the bathroom. If they haven’t gone yet you can guide them to the potty and encourage them to use it. If they have already gone you should still bring them to the toilet and encourage them to use it again. This will link the need to go to the bathroom with the act of sitting on the toilet.
Tips for potty training
Potty training is hard, but thankfully parents all over have been sharing their tips for potty training. We compiled a list of the best potty training tips we could find. This list of tips can help your child learn to use the bathroom faster.
Switch to Pull-Ups. Pull-ups are a mix between diapers and underwear. They make it easy for your child to pull up and down and use the restroom when they need to, but they also make it easy for you to clean up if they end up having an accident.
Keep them motivated to use the bathroom. Praise your child when they successfully use the restroom and tell them what a “big boy/girl” they are when they do. This positive reinforcement makes them more willing and excited to use the restroom. Giving them another motivation can also help them want to use the restroom. Some parents choose to create a bathroom calendar. On the calendar, the child gets a sticker every time they use the restroom successfully. This can motivate them to use the bathroom.
Teach them to listen to their body. Some children have a hard time recognizing and acting on their bathroom urges. In order to make them be more cognizant of their body, you can have a time period during the day that they are naked. This naked time encourages them to recognize the signs their body is giving them before they have an accident. Make sure that you have a potty nearby during this time, and that you are on hardwood, or a cleanable, surface should they have an accident. In addition, you can ask throughout the day if they are dry or not. If they are dry, give them a high five or a hug, but if they are not dry don’t punish them.
Be patient and don’t fight them. Potty training typically takes several weeks of practice to master. And even after they have seemingly mastered it they may still have the occasional accident. Don’t worry if they do it is a normal and natural part of the training process. Setbacks are completely normal, but if your child is actively fighting you or they do not want to work on potty training do not force them. Forcing a child or toddler to do something they don’t want to do can actually lead to more problems. Give them the space to do it themselves and then come back to them once they are more ready to participate.
Potty training is a long and hard journey. It can seem daunting and overwhelming at first, but success is all about waiting until they are ready and having patience. When your child starts to demonstrate signs that they are ready to start potty training start slowly and work your way towards the goal. This can take a long time and a lot of patience, but you will be successful.
Make sure you are ready for the journey too by investing in some comfortable underwear and leggings. Not only will these keep you comfortable and ready to take on the day but it can also encourage your child to imitate your actions. If you have a pair of underwear that you are excited to wear, and leggings that are easy to pull down your child will see this and want that too. Invest in yourself with Bellefit’s postpartum garments.