Potty training is another milestone in your child’s life. It is important to make sure your child is ready for potty training.
Through this long process it is key that you as a parent remain patient.
Although every child is different, most children are ready to begin toilet training between 2 and 3 years of age. However, parents should never force a child to sit on the potty seat or toilet, which might cause the child to resist being toilet trained. It is very important that parents let the child decide when he is ready; and then parents can encourage his attempts. When your child begins telling you when he is wet or dirty and that his diaper needs to be changed, and he is staying dry for more than 2 – 3 hours, you can encourage his learning by using the following tips.
1. Educate your toddler. Before you start potty training your toddler it is important to educate them. Borrow potty books from the library. Show your child by using the bathroom yourself; and then do a potty dance to show your enthusiasm.
2. Buy a potty seat if you don’t already have one. You can use a potty seat that fits on the toilet, or a potty chair. There are also portable toilets for toddlers to use when you are out and about.
3. Allow your child to choose big kid pants with his or her favorite character; and ditch the diapers. Continuing to use diapers may only confuse your child at this point. Even pull-ups are a better option because they are different from the diapers which signifies to the child that they must use them differently (i.e., not relieve themselves in them)
4. Use pull ups and mattress covers for night time.
5. Use positive reinforcement. Consider giving your child a positive reward (stickers or toy) for successful attempts. Rewards can really help a child overcome any resistance to toilet learning. Let your child help choose the reward so it is something she will want to earn.
6. Show your child that bowel movements from his diaper go into the toilet. You can let your child flush the toilet as part of his learning.
7. But be careful as some children feel fearful of toilets flushing. Some may think they have “lost” a precious part of them; while others may fear the loud noises a toilet makes. If your child is afraid of the big toilet, get a small size toilet.
8. Don’t get upset with accidents. Instead say to your child, “It’s ok, accidents happen” and clean up the mess. Remind your child to use the bathroom in the morning, before going to bed, and before getting in the car.
9. Be prepared. Always have an extra outfit, and underwear when going out.
10. Leave the rest of the learning up to your child. If you see any resistance, immediately stop talking to your child about any aspect of toileting and wait until she is interested.
Potty training is an entirely new venture for little ones. They’ve just begun to get used to this new world and now they must change everything they once knew about going to the bathroom, an act that is second nature to most adults. While some parents may be successful at the “diaper free weekend” approach, potty training may take a week, a month or more for some families.
If your child is resisting using the toilet, remember that this is one area of her life that she alone can control. You can never force your child to use the toilet – so it is best to just stop trying! Approximately 75% of children have attained daytime control of their urine and bowel movements between 3 and 4 years of agel, but 25% of children are still not interested in using the toilet.
Be patient with your child and try not to compare him to others. Every child is different and will potty train in his or her own time.
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