Potty success!

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Don't panic if potty training seems impossible! Here are 12 tested do's and don'ts for the biggest potty training challenges.

Success in the potty department!

Success in the potty department!

Before you start to fret that your toddler will still be in diapers by the time he gets married, take comfort in the fact that all kids will sooner or later learn how to properly use the loo.

Potty training is a phase that your child needs to go through, and it is important that you are there every step of the way to give a reassuring prod when needed. By following these tested do's and don'ts, you can help make this an easier experience for you and your precious one. But don't start to potty train until your child is at least two – under two's don't have the muscle control to train their bladder.

Potty Training Do's

1. Watch for tell-tale signs that you child needs to visit the potty. Some common signs include shuffling feet, or fiddling.

2. Dress him in comfortable loose clothes. The last thing you want is to struggle with removing his clothes. Shy away from overalls unless your child is adept at removing them and putting them back on.

3. Start off slowly. Aim for once a day for about a week at first, and then gradually add more visits before you leave the house or after he's finished a meal.

4. Praise your child after every successful trip to the potty. Experts say that parental praise is actually one of the tried and true methods to ensure successful and pain-free potty training.

5. Let him play or read when sitting on the potty. It's a good idea to have a special toy just for the potty.

6. Give your tot a little more control during potty training. This will help the training to go faster and smoother.

Bear in mind that accidents are bound to happen every now and then. However, it is important that you stay calm and try to understand your child’s plight. Gently remind your child that pee and poop should go in the potty and not on the floor or the underwear. It is important to establish consistency during the training but you also need to remember that this is not an easy phase for your kid either.

Potty Training Don’ts

1. Force him to potty train upon reaching a certain age. Just because your eldest learned proper potty training at the age of two does not mean your toddler is expected to also follow suit.

2. Listen to scolding relatives. Many mums feel unwelcome pressure from their relatives to get their child out of diapers and end up passing on the tension to their own child. If someone remarks, “Isn’t he a little too old for diaper?” Just simply reply that “he's still wearing them, so obviously not!”

3. End up engaging in power struggles with your child. This can easily increase stress levels and prolong the process in the long run.

4. Use nick names. Some parents believe that giving certain body parts 'cutesy names' will help their child. However, this is not the case. Approach potty training in a logical and a matter of fact attitude.

5. Resort to punishing your child when accidents occur. It is not your kid’s fault and punishments will only cause problems to arise and may traumatise your child.

6. Criticise him over the simple potty training process. Criticisms and reprimands will only make the training process take longer than necessary and won't help your child's confidence levels.

Potty training is a great challenge and an important milestone in your child's learning process. Your patience and reassuring presence will greatly help him hurdle this phase easier and with the confidence that you are always there to love him potty trained or not.

Here are some related articles:

How to get your child to stop using diapers

The diaper debate

Accidental poo happens

Potty Training