Potty training can be very stressful and overwhelming for both the parents and the kids, especially when the adults are unsure about the best practices and approach. This is why it’s highly recommended to seek pediatric counseling as a thorough preparation for potty training. In this article, we’ll discuss some practical potty training tips, when to start potty training and more.
Before You Start with Potty Training
It’s not easy to say when to start potty training; the key to when’s the best time to get your child a potty chair will actually depend on the child. So, before you decide to get rid of all the diapers, it’s essential to look for signs that suggest your child is ready for the baby toilet. These signs include the following behavior in children:
- Having their diapers stay dry for longer
- Noticing on their own that their diaper is dirty
- Being able to physically pull their bottoms up and down
- Showing an open interest in using the toilet
These indicators in the child’s behavior will best tell you when to start potty training. But, there are still some potty training tips you should take note of before the actual training itself:
- Start by talking about the potty training in an exciting and engaging manner
- Let your child see how you use the bathroom a couple of times
- Take your child to the library or bookstore, where you can pick some potty training books together
- Play with your child using toys and have the toys use a potty chair as well
- Prepare a specific rewards system for when the child uses the baby toilet successfully, such as fruit snacks or star stickers
- Get enough supplies for the potty training, such as wet wipes, hand soap, toddler underwear, the potty chair, etc.
- Pick the proper baby toilet, be that a small potty chair or an insert ring for your regular toilet, or both
- Let the child check out and examine the potty without actually forcing them to use it immediately
- Get prepared for potential accidents with enough wipes, cleaning sprays, and paper towels at hand
- Create a potty-friendly schedule that generally matches your child’s needs
Potty Training Tips
After the preparations are completed, you can start with the actual potty training. Consider the following things to make this process easier for both you and your child:
- If your kid finds it easier to use the potty while taking off some of their garments completely, let them
- Allow the child to choose whether they’d rather start wearing underwear right away or would prefer pull-ups; if the child can’t decide, switch between both
- You already have your potty-friendly schedule, but don’t hesitate to encourage your child to go potty at various times during the day, such as before going to bed and when they wake up, before and after meals, and before you plan to leave your home, and so on
- Praise your child as much as possible and use positive gestures such as singing, clapping open celebration, and similar every time they go potty
- Try additional motivators such as reading a book or telling a story while your child is sitting on the potty chair
- Allow the child to make some choices for themselves in regards to potty training, such as choosing which underwear to wear or whether they’d like to go potty before or after they brush their teeth
- Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself; ask for help with potty training from your partner, other family members, or a nanny
- There’s nothing wrong with taking a break; if the potty training is not progressing smoothly and it’s only making both you and your child frustrated, give it a rest for a while
Forget About Perfection
Remember that no huge developmental change in your child’s life can happen overnight. The same goes for potty training. That said, this whole process doesn’t have to be perfect in order to be successful. It’s only natural that there will be some obstacles, stress, and accidents involved. As a parent, it’s up to you to make the most of it and avoid getting hung up on negative things. Constantly reprimanding your child whenever they don’t do something right will only have negative consequences in the long run, and it definitely won’t speed up the potty training process.
It’s important to approach the accidents constructively. For instance, it’s only natural that there will be more bed accidents at night, even if the daytime potty training appears to go smoothly. In this situation, you can switch from the regular underwear your child wears during the day and dress them in pull-up training pants before bed. Another good practice would be to limit your child’s beverage intake in the evening hours.
In case you notice that your child generally finds it troublesome to use the potty, try to talk to them about it calmly and patiently. It’s not uncommon that small children develop some kind of fear or insecurity about this new experience, and having you reassure them may be all it takes for them to relax.
Occasional Accidents Are Normal
It’s crucial that the parents are aware of the fact that accidents in bed can happen to anyone, especially a small child, even after they are potty trained. After all, too much stress in daily life can even cause a bed accident for an adult. The key here is not to shame the child for it. If they tend to go potty or use the toilet regularly most of the time, an occasional accident is not a sign of a setback. It’s just a normal part of growing up and getting used to changes.
For some children, going potty can be more challenging when they’re not in the comfort of their own home. This is why it would be beneficial to have a portable potty that you can take with you every time you plan to go outside. Also, don’t hesitate to talk to your child openly about the concerns they may have in regards to going potty when not at home and address these concerns appropriately.
This is not a reason to get stressed and frustrated but an opportunity to bond with your child even more.
Potty training may be a tad challenging, but it’s a normal process that every child has to go through. You, as their parent, can let them go through it at their own pace and use this opportunity to create good memories and positive experiences for your child. Of course, if you believe that there’s definitely something wrong with your child’s ability to use the potty chair properly, you can always reach out to us at Worldwide Pediatrics, where we can provide a proper assessment of the situation. What’s more, you can always count on our expert pediatricians for whatever medical services and questions you may have.