Every toddler reaches a point where they are ready to begin using the toilet. Potty training your toddler is not something most parents look forward to with joy. Make potty training easier by preparing before you start, picking the right time, and following a few simple tips.
Prepare for Potty Training
You need to help your child get comfortable with the idea of potty training. Here are some things you can do to prepare your toddler for potty training
Pick the Right Time
It is important that your child is both physically and emotionally ready for toilet training. Look for the following signs before beginning your efforts:
Your child may be physically ready to toilet train before they are emotionally ready. Although most children are ready to start when they are between 22 and 30 months of age, every child is different. Girls are usually ready before boys and mastering peeing in the potty is easier than bowel control.
Not only does your toddler need to be ready, but you and your family also need to be ready. When you bring home a new baby, move to a new home, or there is stress and a great deal of activity is not a good time for potty training.
Steps for Potty Training Success
Once you decide the time is right to begin potty training, set your child up for success by doing the following.
Make sure you, the family, and your toddler’s caregivers stay positive and encouraging.
Encourage your toddler by using a positive tone of voice and acknowledging any success, no matter how small.
You have waited until your toddler is able to wait to urinate for a few hours. Now begin taking your toddler to the toilet every two hours or so. Take your toddler to the bathroom first thing in the morning, before and after each meal and snack, before leaving the house, and before going to bed.
If your child squirms, squats, or holds themselves between the legs, they may be indicating a need to go to the bathroom. Respond immediately with a potty trip.
You will need to decide what your toddler will respond to when you choose a way to celebrate their success. For some toddlers, a chart with stickers or stars works well. For others, simple verbal praise is enough to encourage them. Do not hesitate to use prizes such as small toys or a special treat they enjoy.
Make every step of your toddler’s success exciting – asking to use the potty, moving to big-girl underpants, pooping in the potty for the first time. Try a party if they succeed in an area that has been especially difficult for them.
Tips for Potty Training
If your efforts do not meet with success, step back and assess the reason. Your child may not be ready yet. If this is the case, stop for a while and try again a few weeks or months later. However, if you think they are not able to learn to use the potty even though they show all the signs of being ready, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to make sure there are no underlying physical reasons.