Potty training is one of the most anxiety-inducing and most rewarding accomplishments for both the parent and the toddler. It is very important that your child be both emotionally and physically ready for the potty training experience. No two children are the same, so it stands to reason that no two children will necessarily be ready for potty training at the same time. If a child is not ready for this step at the same time as, say, his older brothers and sisters were, it is certainly no cause for concern. A child must master some specific skills in a particular order before undertaking potty training.
These skills include:
- Being able to identify the signals their bodies are sending them indicating that they need to use the bathroom.
- Dressing and undressing (in order to pull their pants up and down to use the bathroom)
It is extremely important not to get discouraged if your little one doesn’t get the hang of potty training right away. You don’t want your child to pick up on your negative feelings and think that they’ve done something wrong or bad. If they get this impression it can hamper the whole potty training process.
GETTING PREPARED: CHOOSING THE RIGHT POTTY CHAIR
Preparation is an important first step in the potty training experience. By taking the time to introduce your child to the components of what is about to take place you will be helping to familiarize your toddler with the potty and to help them to feel that using it will be a positive experience.
Your child’s first introduction to potty training will be his potty chair, so you will want to make sure you pick the one that will get the best results and will not intimidate or frighten the child. However, you also want to avoid choosing a potty chair that is too “fun” or “cute”, because your child could easily come to see it as a toy, rather than something that is to be used only to go potty in. This is a point that many parents fail to consider or realize in their efforts to choose a potty chair their child will like and will be eager to use.
Once you have found the right potty chair, the next important step is choosing the right place for it in your home. It does not have to be placed in the bathroom. It should be placed in the room where your child spends the most time. The most important consideration is that your child has quick and easy access to his potty chair. Your child will quickly come to feel proud of the fact that this is his very own piece of furniture and this will go a long way towards encouraging them to use it on a regular basis.
LEARNING TO USE THE POTTY CHAIR
You want your child to be completely comfortable with his potty chair, so let him practice sitting on it fully clothed a few times a day. Let him sit for as long as he wants and get up when he wants. The main idea at this point is for your child to familiarize himself with this new thing. Make sure to encourage and praise your child every step of the way, even for the smallest accomplishments.
When your child has become comfortable with sitting on the potty chair with his clothes on, let him become accustomed to sitting on it with his clothes off. This will serve two purposes: first, it will help your child to get used to the idea of removing their clothing in order to use the bathroom, and it also familiarizes him with what the seat feels like next to his bare skin. This is important in order for him to feel comfortable with relieving himself into it.
Once your child has done this for a couple of days, wait until he has a bowel movement in his diaper and then let him watch you dump it into the potty chair. Explain that this is where all of his potty needs to go.
Moms and dads must do their part in being observant during the potty training process, being vigilant to watch for the key signs that the child needs to go to the bathroom. Parents will by now know the signs to look for when their child is relieving himself or is about to do so.
Allow your child to go into the bathroom with you. This is one of the best ways for them to get the idea of using the potty chair, as they see you using the toilet. Boys can especially benefit from seeing how Daddy urinates standing up, even though it is initially easier for boys to learn to urinate while sitting down.
Make sure your child always sees you wash your hands after using the restroom and help him learn to do this himself, if proper handwashing techniques have not been taught yet. This is instrumental in setting up good practices for later in life and for helping your child to stay healthy and safe.
When your child successfully uses the potty chair for the first time, be sure to heap praises on him. He will still have accidents, no doubt, but don’t become angry or frustrated by this; if your child sees these reactions from you he may stop trying to use the potty chair at all and that would undo all of the good work that you have achieved so far.
Potty training can be a stressful time, but it is so rewarding for both parent and child!
These are just a few tips to help make the potty training experience easy and successful. Talking with other parents can give you more ideas and help your little one have a wonderful and easy potty training process.
If your kids are ready to start using the toilet, read from this link for our recommendations.