Potty training is a developmental milestone for kids and parents alike, and while we understand just how intimidating it can seem initially – it doesn’t have to be! The truth is that if your child is truly ready, potty training can actually be pretty enjoyable. Many parents tend to compare the advancements of other children but when it comes to potty training, there is not a specific age. Some kids are ready as soon as 18 months and some may not hit this milestone until they are approaching age 4. As with many other developments that children undergo in their early years, you may be familiar with the notion that kids tend to do things on their timetable and not always on ours, as the parents.
When the moment does come, it’s recommended that parents to be ready and knowledgeable in order to help ease their child’s transition out of diapers. That’s why the healthcare providers of Children’s Wellness Center are happy to provide a few potty training steps we have collected during our own experiences to help break down the process for first time parents (or even those who are having another round and would like to try things differently). Hopefully, this potty training guide will help your child transition quickly and make potty training as painless as possible for everyone involved:
Be Aware of Signs of Readiness
Look out for signs that your child may be ready. These may include the child:
- Expressing interest in the potty
- Feeling uncomfortable in dirty diapers
- Getting dressed without help
- Staying accident-free for longer periods of time
- Going to the bathroom on a schedule
Introduce Kids to the Potty
When you think your child may be close to ready, bring up potty training occasionally in conversation to make them aware of the concept of potty training. Children’s books about potty training can even help spur their interest as a fun, engaging alternative to talking.
Choose the Right Potty for Your Child
Purchase either a full potty that sits on the floor or a potty seat that goes on top of the regular toilet. Some parents may want to set up multiple potties around the house, though we recommend sticking with one in the bathroom for repeated use. If you choose to use a potty seat, make sure to get a step stool too so your little one has an easier time climbing on top.
Choose a Method & Be Consistent
Creating a potty training schedule for toddlers is highly recommended. Set out certain times of day to take your child to the potty (whether or not they have to go) and stick with them to create a routine. We recommend having kids sit on the potty first thing in the morning, before you leave the house, and before naps and bedtime. The key is to ritualize using the potty so it becomes more of a habit for your child.
Teach Hygiene after Potty Use
Keeping clean is a big part of potty training. Instruct kids how to properly wipe (front to back), flush, and to wash their hands with soap and water afterward to avoid spreading germs and prevent potential sickness.
Reward Good Potty Behavior
Remember that accidents are part of the process. Keep patient and don’t discourage your child if they have an accident. Instead, be encouraging and even offer a small reward when your child uses the potty successfully to reinforce the good behavior.
One of the most helpful tips we like to share with parents is this: remember, potty training is not an overnight process. Stay patient and encourage your child every step of the way to help them through this process and feel good about their accomplishments. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact Children’s Wellness Center. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news and updates.