Posted by TinyTotties on January 24 2011
Many parents start looking forward to the day their child will be potty trained from the moment they change that first dirty diaper. Teaching your child to properly use the toilet is a big achievement and will provide your child with more independence and more freedom. Plus it will save you money on diapers and from having to change dirty diapers several times each day. While it is a big achievement, it can be a lot of work. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind to help make potty training a success with your child.
Make Sure They Are Ready
Every child is different and it is important to make sure that your child is ready before you start potty training them. Generally children are ready sometime between 18 months and 3 years old, although your child may be ready much sooner or later than this. Some children express interest in potty training which can be a great clue that they are ready. If your child is asking about using the potty, you might want to start. Once you have started, make sure that your child continues to express interest. If they don’t seem to want to participate, take a break from potty training for a few months and then try again. Don’t force them before they are ready or you might experience more problems down the road.
Choose Your Timing Carefully
Timing is critical when potty training. Make sure that you start your training during a calm period in the child’s life. For example starting a week or two before a big family vacation is not a good idea. Your child needs to have plenty of time to get used to using the potty before any major changes in schedule, activities or living arrangements. This will allow your child to focus on the important change at hand, learning to use the potty, rather than being distracted by everything else going on.
Accidents will happen, so plan on them. When you start potty training make sure that you have a change of underwear on hand whenever you go out. If your child does have an accident, be patient and don’t ever get upset with them. They will learn better in a positive and supportive environment.
Reward and Praise
Children seek the praise of their parents. During the potty training process you need to find rewards for your child when they successfully use the potty. These rewards don’t have to be anything huge. Some parents reward with a small treat or a sticker and others purchase items like musical training toilets. Since each child is different, find what works for yours and always praise them for a job well done.
Expect Small Progress- Not an Instant Transformation
Your child isn’t going to go from diapers to using the potty perfectly in one small step. Instead it will be a series of steps. You might find that they learn to use the potty at home very quickly but then have a hard time using public toilets or they might use the potty really well sometimes and forget about it at other times. Focus on taking small steps like learning to use the toilet at home, learning to pee in the toilet or learning to tell you before they go to the bathroom. If you don’t expect major changes your child will be better able to meet your goals.
Potty training will be a lot of work, but will be worth it in the end. Make sure your child is ready and prepare for a long road of patience, learning and mistakes. Good luck!