So your child is now a toddler, and it’s about that time to take him off diapers and start potty training. But how do you begin? Here are tips that might help you.
Introduction to the Potty
Expose your child to the potty to heighten their curiosity and interest. Show him pictures and videos, or take him shopping for a potty to get him enthusiastic and involved as much as possible. Explain what the potty is for and when and how it is used. Let him sit down on the potty and develop a positive feeling about the potty chair.
Readiness for Potty Training
Remember that every child has his own pace in development; one child may be more advanced than the other. Children who are 2 ½ to 3 years old are physically ready, but may show no interest until they are 4. They tend to stay dry for at least two hours or during naps, which means that the bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine.
Some of the behavioral signs in a child include: generally shows signs of independence, can pull pants up and down without help, feels uncomfortable with dirty diapers, is willing to learn to use the toilet, can follow simple commands, knows bathroom lingo, and informs you if they are going to “poo-poo” or “wee-wee” even before it happens.
Even if your child shows all the signs of readiness, it is important to avoid potty training during stressful times or changes such as: arrival of a new baby, relocation, going on a vacation, or starting in a new school.
Kids will learn better if they are relaxed or doing their regular routine. Training can be postponed until about a month or done earlier in preparation for the change.
Fun Experience and Rewards
Any kid likes to play games. Show your baby that potty training can be a happy experience too. Be creative in how you will encourage him to use the potty. Good enticements include small toys, favorite treats, and stickers.
You can make a daily potty chart and your child can put the stickers himself after he uses the potty. You may also give him a marble to drop in a cup, and when the cup is full, he gets to pick a small toy. Be careful not to over praise them, doing so may result in feelings of inadequacy when you no longer respond with cheers and rewards.
Even children who are already potty trained have occasional accidents. Punishment will only hurt your baby’s self-esteem, inhibit his progress and taint what should be a positive experience with feelings of shame. Instead, just calmly help him get clean and changed into dry clothes.
Be Patient and Stay Positive
Potty training can be frustrating sometimes; it may take days or even months. Remember that your kid is still learning the skill so he will need lots of patience and guidance from you. Knowing that you’re there to support him makes the job easier.