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Happy Pregnancy

Potty Training - A Step-By-Step Guide for Parents

by Sherry Lee 07 Nov 2023

Encourage your children to let you know when they need to pee or poo by stopping playing, squatting down, grunting loudly or hiding their diaper or pulling at it.

Schedule regular potty breaks every two hours: first thing in the morning, before and after naptime and meals; read books to them or play with toys while they sit still.

Is Your Child Ready

is your child ready

Children need to be at least 2 years old before beginning potty training, although some children may show signs that they're ready earlier. Rushing them through this process could result in power struggles and frustration among family members involved.

As your child learns this new skill, it is crucial that they feel safe, confident and at ease as they acclimate. Studies show that children who are relaxed perform better, particularly if there is an established routine and consistent habits in place. Try having your child sit on the potty every couple of hours whether or not they need to use it; especially first thing in the morning and before leaving home as well as before naptime and bedtime.

Keep in mind that full potty training could take several days, weeks or even months to accomplish, so be patient with them and offer praise whenever they make progress. Once they've mastered using both chair and toilet independently, switch out their diapers for training pants or underwear as soon as they master using either! Celebrate together!

Preparing for Potty Training

Most children can begin potty training around 18 months of age; some may need longer. When you're ready, create a plan to encourage frequent toilet use - before and after meals, naps, and just before bedtime is best. Discuss this plan with their daycare provider or experienced nanny or sitter so everyone is on the same page and expectancies can be discussed openly.

Select a word like "wet" or "poopy," and make sure everyone in the household uses it consistently. Be patient: children may take time learning how to pee and poop on the potty, and accidents may happen as they discover how.

Stock up on paper towels and rags, disinfectant spray and incentives such as stickers, kid-safe candy or all-natural fruit snacks in case your child responds well to rewards - these may include stickers, kid-safe candy or all-natural fruit snacks that encourage progress as you congratulate and reward their achievements, even if it only lasts a short while! Additionally, it might help if rugs were rolled up around the house as this reduces any trips-trip-tripped objects which might otherwise endavoking or being consumed by their little ones tripping over or eating anything loose in case it happens again.

The First Steps

Potty training should begin around your child's second birthday; at this age they understand and accept the transition without power struggles becoming an issue.

Potty training requires consistency and commitment from both you and your child. A potty should remain in your home or be brought out on trips so your child becomes familiar with it as part of daily life, such as after meals, naps or bedtime. A set routine of sitting on the potty may help your child adjust as well - such as first thing in the morning, after eating or right before bedtime!

Carefully observe any signals that your child needs to use the restroom, such as crossed legs or grunting, and encourage them to sit on the potty. A book or toy may help them while they wait their turn - when finished be sure to praise them on a job well done!

Training Pants and Underwear

training underwear

While there are various approaches to potty training, ultimately it comes down to you and your child to decide the most effective approach and undergarments to use. According to Glowacki, toddlers are ready for underwear if they experience fewer accidents, tell you when they need to go, and don't get upset over small mistakes. She advises working closely with their care provider so both parties involved understand when it is time for big kid underpants.

Some parents opt out of diapers entirely in favor of using reusable cloth training pants instead. Similar to adult underwear, reusable cloth training pants allow toddlers to feel the wetness from accidents they experience, helping them learn to recognize when accidents do happen. They're more environmentally-friendly than disposables too! Plus they come in fun designs like Disney princesses, Dora the Explorer and Toy Story for your child to choose from; some even feature wetness protection in the crotch area to avoid leakage! Most importantly they're machine washable - saving you from having to wash many small clothes on separate occasions!

Consistency is Key

Stick to a consistent schedule when potty training your child. Take them to the potty at regular intervals - such as after they wake up and before naptime and bedtime - so they can learn when their urge for elimination comes on. Have them sit on the toilet even if they do not think they need it (or want it). Reward successes while remaining patient through setbacks.

Reward systems may help to motivate your child to use the potty, such as small treats or stickers. Avoid shaming when accidents do happen - as this will only delay progress further. Also ensure your family and caregivers all adhere to a consistent routine when training your child for potty use - both when at home and when away. This ensures consistency for maximum effectiveness!

Positive Reinforcement

Once your child successfully uses the potty, be sure to praise them! Praising is an essential component of potty training and will keep them motivated; positive reinforcement will encourage more frequent potty usage as well. Rewards such as stickers, time reading books or small treats may prove effective.

Make sure that any rewards don't become bribes; rather make sure they are given immediately following successful toilet trips as reinforcers.

Your child should become comfortable sitting on the potty by sitting them there for several hours each day (even when they don't need to use it). Do this first thing in the morning, after meals and before nap time or bed time so they have an opportunity to use the potty before being so desperate they have an accident.

Dealing with Setbacks

Every child is different and will reach different milestones at their own pace, so don't get discouraged if your toddler doesn't master the toilet immediately. Some kids move seamlessly from diapers to big kid underwear without an accident while others may experience frequent mishaps or slip back into diapers for no apparent reason. The key to keeping momentum is maintaining positive reinforcement while minimizing negative reinforcement.

If your toddler has an accident, make sure they're cleaned up calmly and without fear of punishment or timeouts - as these will only reinforce bad behaviors. Instead, use stickers on a chart as rewards and praise as ways to encourage better behavior.

Potty training your toddler may take several weeks, especially if they're still learning their body's signals for bathroom visits. Sit them on the potty at two-hour intervals first thing in the morning or after naptime to teach them to listen for their body and always have training pants or underwear ready.

Transitioning to the Big Toilet

transitioning to big toilets

Before transitioning your toddler onto the big toilet, give him or her plenty of opportunities to practice sitting on a potty chair. Signs that your toddler may need to pee or poop may include squirming, holding their genitals tightly, grabbing at their pants or refusing to play for extended periods of time.

Allow your child to run around without their pants or diaper at times, such as when playing in the yard or indoors with friends. This will help them become more attuned to when their bodies need potty breaks - helping them learn what signals their bodies are sending so that they can go potty quickly when necessary.

Make sure to leave the bathroom door open as you and your child use it, so they can observe both of you using it and gain confidence when using a big toilet. Also encourage your child to wear underwear so they become accustomed to the feeling of going bare down.

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