Put a group of mums in a room and ask them how they go about potty training their children, and you’ll likely get almost as many different answers as there are mums present. Why is that? It’s because there’s more than one way to get to ‘the land of no diapers.’
I have four children — all of whom have distinct personalities and were potty trained in the same way, but with a few tweaks here and there to suit each one’s personality. My son, Zach, loved to race his trucks and wanted to be the winner. Seeing this winners-spirit in him, I used it to encourage him to ‘win’ prizes for staying dry. By the time he was 28 months, he was diaper-free and had very few accidents.
What Is Potty Training
Potty training is the process of teaching your child to use the toilet.
It’s a big step for your child, and it can be a little scary at first. But with some practice and patience, your child will soon be able to tell you when they need to use the bathroom.
Potty training is different for every child. Some kids are ready to start potty training as early as 18 months old, while others may take longer to learn how to use the toilet.
At What Age Should a Child Start Potty Training
At what age should a child start potty training?
The answer to this question depends on the child, of course. But some general guidelines apply to most kids.
If your child is under 18 months old and isn’t interested in using the toilet, you may want to hold off on potty training for now. It’s normal for toddlers not to be ready for this kind of thing until they’re closer to 2 years old, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your child if he or she doesn’t seem interested in using the bathroom yet!
If your kid is between 18 months and 3 years old, it’s probably time to start thinking about toilet training. This is around when most kids can understand what it means when they go pee-pee or poo-poo on their pants—so you must begin preparing them for what will come next!
You must not rush into anything, though—you’ll want plenty of opportunities for practice before introducing any formal potty training schedule into your routine. Try letting your toddler wear pull-up diapers until he or she can consistently go pee-pee.
Read more to find out about tried and tested methods for potty training!
How to Tell When to Start Potty Training
You’ll know when you’re ready to start potty training your child. Here are some signs that it’s time:
- Your child has been showing interest in the toilet.
- Your child has started asking questions about how babies are made and where they come from.
- Your child can follow simple directions, like “Put this toy in the trunk.”
- Your child has developed a good grasp of numbers, letters and colours.
Know Your Child, And The Potty Training Method That Would Suit Them
Do you know what they say about trying to fit a square peg into a round hole? Well, the same holds for your kids. Knowing how to appeal to their sense of accomplishment is where it’s at when it comes to motivating them to learn to go on the big potty and start potty training.
Types of Potty Training
There are a few different types of potty training.
One is the “cold turkey” method, where you just take your kid to the bathroom every 15 minutes and hope for the best. This can be effective in some cases, but there’s a risk that your kid will never get it.
Another method is the “elimination communication” approach, which means that you basically just follow your baby around all day and let them know when they have to go so they can learn how to communicate with you about it. This is hard if you have a full-time job, though!
The “watch-and-wait” method is called “child-led learning” because kids are given freedom over how they want to learn—and when they want to learn.
Parents don’t put any pressure on their kids; instead, they wait until the child is ready on his or her terms before starting any formal training process. This method can be good for parents with busy schedules or those who have trouble getting up early enough in the morning for proper training sessions.
The most commonly used method is “gradual readiness,” which means teaching kids when they’re ready and giving them lots of practice at being on the toilet before making them go on their own. It takes time, but it’s proven effective with many families.
The Experts On Potty Training
The experts we are dealing with are mums like you, who have been where you are. They understand that each child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another.
Image source: iStock
They understand that some children like my daughter Boo, tell their parents they are ready to go on the big potty at 16 months of age. Yet, they also understand that there are 2-year-olds like my Nathanael who tell their mothers, “I like wearing diapers just fine.”
Tips When Potty Training a Toddler
Here are a few expert tips that have worked for other mums when it comes to potty training:
- Don’t be embarrassed to allow your toddler to see you use the bathroom. You hopefully don’t leave them waiting outside the door in public restrooms, so making it a natural thing will encourage your child to use the ‘big potty.’
- Go slow. Don’t wake up one day with the idea of succeeding in potty training. Start out by sitting them on the toilet to do their hair or put their clothes on after a bath. Set them on the toilet before they get into the tub, after a nap and before bedtime to see if they can go potty. If not, no big deal. Just tell them, ‘maybe next time.’
- Be observant. Do they have a bowel movement shortly after breakfast every morning? If so, then that would be the time to set them on the potty. The same applies to drinking. Wait 15 to 30 minutes and set them on the potty.
- Be patient and calm. If a child is scratched by a cat or bitten by a dog, they are naturally going to be afraid of all dogs and cats until they learn to differentiate between friendly and not-so-friendly animals. If you yell, force or take a negative attitude, they’re going to view the potty as their enemy.
- Be persistent but not pushy.
Image source: Stock
While I will never be convinced a child needs to wait until they are 3 (or even older) to begin the process of potty training, it is also unreasonable and unfair to put an expiration date on a toddler’s potty training. No two children are alike. Some need a bit more patience and coercion than others. But don’t worry, how many children in kindergarten do you know who are still wearing diapers?
Tell us if these potty training tips were helpful to you!
Check Out This Video On Elmo’s Potty Training:
Updates by Pheona Ilagan
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