Potty training is an incredibly daunting task to any parent. I know because I have been there myself! In this blog I am going to get down to the specifics. There is more than one way to go about potty training and of course everyone has their own method or suggestion.
The fact of the matter is that no two children are the same! A method that works for one child may not work for another. As a parent you know your child much better than anyone else. You can immediately tell when a method you are attempting isn’t going to work.
Rule #1 of Potty Training
Do not beat yourself up about potty training. Your child will learn to use the toilet in his or her own time regardless of if you train them immediately or if it comes later. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It does not make your child less of a human being to be a little bit late in learning the potty ropes. Stay calm.
Here are some helpful tips to hopefully push you and your little one in the correct direction when it comes to using the potty.
Most people wait until a child is between 2 and 3 years old to start potty training. Some people manage to potty train their child at a much younger age, but you really should wait until your child is 18 months or older.
Learning how to use the potty can be an emotional experience for a child. Waiting until the child is a bit more matured and comfortable is a good solution to this problem.
Around 2 years of age a child begins to communicate much better than before and they can signal and say some words that let you know how they feel about things. This obviously is a bonus when it comes to potty training and you ask the child if they need to use the potty.
The Potty Training Code.
Before you jump into potty training try to have keywords or signals your child can use to let you know if they have to pee or poo. Usually by the time you go to potty train your child, they will have developed some way of telling you they have to use the bathroom, or that they are currently going potty in their diaper.
It will be up to you to detect the body language your child exhibits and develop a keyword or signal between the two of you. In my particular case my daughter would look me in the eye and grab her diaper. I would ask her, “Do you have to go tee-tee?” She would then say yes or no. If your child is not able to speak yet, teach them to gesture in some way. Once this is established you are well on the way to actually potty training your little one.
Let’s Get This “Potty” Started. (Insert laughter here.)
So by this point your child is matured enough to handle potty training, and you have a signal word or gesture. You also should be able to read your child’s body language. Wait until the appropriate time. It is best to wait until your child has recently peed and/or pooped already.
Figure out an approximate amount of time between each soiled diaper/pull-up. This will give you a decent indication of when to expect the next potty time. Also be sure to account for if your child has extra liquids in between the wet/soiled diaper as well. Cut a little bit of time off of your estimate if that is the case.
Around the time that you expect your little one to need to use the potty if they have not gestured or said a keyword by this point, take them to their potty. This may be a smaller version of the actual toilet or in my child’s case a step stool and toilet seat cover for toddlers.
Make sure when you take your child to the potty that you act extremely enthusiastic with them about it. Pretend like it’s the biggest and most amazing event you’ve ever had the opportunity to behold. (Honestly if you’ve been changing diapers for about two years by this point, it is.) Help your child to sit or get on the potty, show nothing but positive reaction to the potty itself.
Your child should feel mutual about this. Try to coach your child by telling them to go potty and be excited for them for trying. Now, do not get discouraged if your child does not respond well to this particular method. Although some children will pick it up right away under the proper circumstances. It is best to try when you have a full day to spend and dedicate to your efforts. That way if you fail the first time you can keep trying.
Try again later
If after all of your efforts your child is not picking up potty training, you may just need to wait and try again. You do not have to give up efforts completely, but maybe take a break until you both are ready. Some children do not learn until they are almost 4 years old, and that is perfectly fine. Your child is normal and they will learn in their own time regardless. Do not worry or feel embarrassed about it. It does not make you less of a parent if your child isn’t ready. All children develop at their own pace.
If you are struggling to potty train, I hope this blog helps!