Is your child beginning to show signs they are ready to ditch those diapers and start using the potty? Even if you have potty trained a toddler before, each child reacts differently to using the potty and moves at their own pace when adjusting to this new milestone. Parents should look for certain signs their child is ready, such as wanting to use the potty like mom and dad, being unhappy with a wet diaper, and showing interest in what a potty is.
Let Them Watch And Learn
Before becoming fully involved in the potty training process, parents should start to bring their child into the bathroom with them so they understand what happens in there. Assuming your child will just be able to head to the bathroom and sit down on the potty without confusion or fear could hamper your ability to potty train quickly and effectively. Parents should ensure their child is involved in the process by talking to them about what is going on and making sure they understand what using the potty is all about. Parents can also have other family members involved in this step. Sometimes younger children will want to be like their older siblings, and heading to the bathroom with them to let them watch and learn is beneficial for helping the situation.
Look For These Signs
After your child has spent some time watching what goes on in the bathroom, they may start to show some interest in going potty themselves. They may point to the potty and ask to sit on it, or they may be more interested in the big toilet. There are products you can use to make a regular toilet more accessible if need be. Your child may also communicate to you when they have soiled their diaper, and this recognition of urinating or the movement of their bowels is a big indication they understand the feeling of using the bathroom.
Your child may even get upset when they soil themselves as they no longer tolerate the feeling of a wet diaper. Look for these signs they are ready, and when you notice your child is curious and may want to try the potty out, move slowly and start the process. Do not be upset if it turns out your child needs a bit more time to adjust, and do not scold them. This could scare them and put them off from using the potty for an extended period.
Potty Training Girls
When beginning to potty train your little tyke, both genders begin by sitting on their potty or the toilet, but eventually boys learn how to stand and aim. Typically, girls learn more quickly than boys, though they also need instruction on how to position themselves and wipe correctly. For girls, try using a potty chair so her feet will touch the floor, which can greatly help her pelvic muscles and relax her as she does her business. A step stool is handy if she is using an adult toilet for her to rest her feet on. Help eliminate spray and relax your daughter by having her sit all the way back on the potty with her knees apart to relax her pelvic muscles. Girls especially need to be taught how to wipe or pat from front to back to prevent infections.
Potty Training Boys
For boys, let him use a potty chair if he is not ready to stand and aim, and if he is ready to stand and aim, ensure he is properly positioned with his feet slightly apart and directly in front of the potty to eliminate urine splashing onto the floor. Having him watch his dad or another male family member is best, though mom can also direct him on how to aim. To improve his aim, put a few Cheerios into the bowl for 'target practice.' For both genders, give the child a book or play some music to encourage them to sit and finish their business on the potty.
Buy The Right Equipment
When a parent begins the potty training process, they will want to stock up on everything they may need. For instance, there are a few different options to choose from when it comes to a potty. There are potty seats that attach to the top of a normal toilet allowing the child to safely sit on top of the toilet and relieve themselves in a way that is comfortable for them. There are also stand-alone potty chairs that can be placed in the bathroom, and functions as a miniature toilet of sorts for the child. Parents are also encouraged to bring their child with them to the store to pick a potty they like, whether it be because their favorite cartoon character is on the potty or it's their favorite color. Your child should help you buy the right equipment as this not only gets them involved in the process but is also continued motivation for them.
Reward Them For A Job Well Done
It may take a few tries, but your child will be able to get the hang of using the potty. When they do use the potty, and especially on their own, it is essential to praise and encourage them by rewarding them for a job well done. This will show your child you are proud of them and they have done something good, which will make them want to repeat this positive behavior.
For instance, reward them by giving them a small treat each time, such as small chocolates, and when they are fully potty trained, reward them with a toy they have wanted, such as a doll or truck. Parents can also use charts to help track the progress their child is making and use stickers as a fun initiative to show their progress. Remember, potty training doesn't have to be a difficult process for both parent and child, but should be a fun, bonding experience!
Maintain A Routine
Children learn best when there is some semblance of structure, and potty training is no different. A structure can help make reinforcing successful potty uses easier and more effective. Having a routine of when to use the potty also increases the chances of success. For example, many parents encourage their toddler to use the restroom in the morning, after meals, after a nap, before baths, and before bed. Additionally, the routine should also be established in the restroom. The toddler should know to use the potty, to wipe, to flush, and to wash their hands after each trip to the bathroom. If you can maintain a routine, you will be much closer to potty training your toddler.
Explain The Digestive System
To explain the digestive system, you do not need to have the understanding of a gastroenterologist, and an explanation like this would likely cause a toddler more confusion than understanding. Your toddler should, however, have a basic understanding of how the body processes nutrients and removes wastes. This can help them understand their body's waste products are not a vital piece of life and can even be harmful if they are held in. In fact, researchers have found holding in waste can cause urological, gastrointestinal, and even emotional problems. It is important to prevent these problems so life runs as smoothly as possible, and a basic understanding of the digestive system is the first step.
Run The Tap
If your toddler is having trouble urinating, you may have been told to run the tap to help them go. While it may seem crazy, this trick does appear to stimulate a toddler's need to use the bathroom. This trick is best reserved for children having a hard time releasing urine. Running the bath tap is even more effective, according to some parents. In either case, running water only appears to work well when a toddler really has to urinate. These toddlers typically are almost fully trained, but they have issues with controlling when their body releases waste. The running water can help trigger this release, and it can be used as a teaching tool. If you choose to use it as a teaching tool, make sure you eventually teach your child how to stop relying on running water to use the restroom.
Think Outside The Box
Ultimately, no one knows your toddler better than you do, and there are certain techniques your child will respond to that no other human will. Expert tricks apply to the majority of children, and likely will work for yours. Alone though, they may not be enough. This is where the potty training process gets creative for parents. You can help a child, particularly boys, aim by using round cereal pieces. You can also get creative with the rewards. Some parents set up a token economy, where children earn points they can spend on rewards after a number of successful potty trips.
Other parents have a special potty success dance and song, and some use only words of encouragement. Truly, the more fun potty training seems, the easier it will be for your toddler to learn. Potty training does not and should not be a time of immense stress for you or your toddler, and when you think outside the box, the process can become more fun for everyone.