Potty training can be a very difficult time for parents. Some children take a very long time to potty train, while others catch on rather quickly. It is dependent on several things, including your timing and your child’s temperament. There are a few things you can do to make the process easier and the transition smoother.
Your timing is extremely important, if you start potty training too early, your child won’t be ready. He won’t know when or if he needs to go potty early enough to make it to the bathroom, then he will become frustrated and won’t want to cooperate with you, when he is finally ready. Wait until your child let’s you know when he has peed, or maybe even tells you when he is peeing. At that point, he is definitely ready to start potty training.
Your temperament, along with your baby’s is the key to successful potty training. You need to make sure you’re encouraging and always make a big deal out of your child using the potty. Almost everything a child does, is done with the intent to create a reaction, so always react in a positive way. Don’t, however, punish your child. That will not help you or them. Some children will try to hold it in, to avoid getting themselves into trouble. When your child fails to use the bathroom, remind him why he should go, whether it’s to go to school, or earn a reward.
Your baby’s attitude is also important. Some attributed traits, will make it much harder to potty train your child. Children who have an exceptionally hard time focusing, will be less inclined to use the potty. Argumentative children will oppose your encouragement to use it. Some children even develop a fear of using the potty. Communicate with your child, to develop an understanding of his thoughts and feelings regarding potty training, help alleviate his fears and encourage him to make this step.
Another important thing is your choice of potty. It will be much easier, at first to have a smaller potty for your little one, it will be easier for them to sit on, and maybe make them feel special. You could even take your little one with you, to help you pick it out. If it’s a special character or theme he likes, he may be more eager to use the potty, plus he will be proud he chose the potty he uses. Thus, making the process of potty training easier.
Your child’s comfort is important. Make him comfortable with the experience. Ensure the bathroom is warm, but comfortable, and maybe place a toy or two, next to the potty, it may help keep him occupied enough to sit down. Especially for hyperactive children, it may be difficult to convince them to stay seated on the potty. Talk to your toddler about why you want him to use the potty and explain that all big people use it.
Watch how much time your child spends in diapers. Wearing a diaper, encourages your child to use it. After all, for a toddler, it is easier to pee on the go, rather than sit down to use a potty. Children love to run around, and often forcing them to sit, feels a bit like a punishment. Pull ups are similar, they act as a diaper, just with the added ease of pulling them up and down. I would suggest only using pull ups when going out to the store, the park or somewhere else that you would prefer your child refrain from wetting himself. Allow your child to wear underwear around the house, if there is an accident they can easily be cleaned or replaced. If your child wears underwear somewhere, be sure to pack and extra pair of pants and underpants.
When you begin potty training, start by placing on your child on the potty several times a day. As you continue, start encouraging him to go to the potty on his own, with verbal cues and reminders. Eventually he will be conditioned to use the potty when he feels the urge to. Remember to react in an excited or happy way every time he uses the potty. When he doesn’t simply remind him why he must. Pay attention to your child’s cues, and when you notice them, remind your toddler to go to the potty.
Lose the clothes, during this time. The less clothes your child wears around your home, at least during the potty training period, the better. It will be much easier, and quicker, for them to use the bathroom if they don’t need to peel away several layers before, then replace them when finished. Allow them to run around the house in underwear, the feeling of the underwear may remind them to use the potty, and when they go, it will be relatively hassle free.
For children that have trouble adjusting to potty training, set up a rewards system. Punishment doesn’t work with potty training because it’s a natural instinct. It is an urge that shouldn’t be repressed. Instead use rewards. You could use a sticker chart, daily toy, candy, or privileges to encourage your child to use the potty. Be creative, if it’s a good time of the year, convince him by offering an extra amount of time outside. Use your child’s preferences to your advantage when deciding his reward. It should be something, he really likes, or would want.
Remember that potty training is an inevitable step that every child pursues. Your child will learn to use the potty. Don’t stress yourself out, or worry too much. The worst thing that can happen, is your child will be in diapers until their three. By four, the majority of children have finished potty training, and successfully use the bathroom on their own. Usually, it is not an issue to ensure your child is potty trained, by the time they start preschool.