Little Jeremy stood before the potty, like a king ready to approach the throne. This was his fifth time trying to pee like a big boy. After three minutes while his mom coached him, he still couldn’t go. As soon as his mother pulled his pants up, he urinated.
Potty training your toddler can be frustrating for you and your child. When’s the right age to train toddlers? How do you get them ready for this big transition in their lives? How long is it going to take to potty train your little one? What are the secrets to successful potty training?
How Will You Know When It’s Time to Start Potty Training Your Toddler?
You and your child have to be ready for potty training. You have to have the time to dedicate to this activity and encourage your child on a daily basis. Your child also has to show signs of readiness.
Signs Your Child Is Ready for Successful Potty Training:
Your toddler tells you when his diaper is wet or dirty. He’s uncomfortable in a messy diaper.
Your child shows interest in the potty and may even tell you he wants to go on it.
Your little one is able to understand and follow instructions.
Your child remains dry for two hours or more during the day.
Your toddler wakes from a nap in a dry diaper.
Your child is able to pull his pants down and up again.
What You Can Do to Acclimate Your Child to Using the Potty?
- Familiarize your child with the potty by placing one in his play areas. Your child will probably see this as another toy, but let him explore it.
- Let your child know that this is his chair and encourage him to sit on it fully clothed. Do not force him to stay on it.
- Once your child is familiar with his potty, attempt to have him sit on the toilet without his diaper and pants.
- After he’s mastered this, show him the purpose of the potty. Place stool from his dirty diaper into the toilet while he is observing. Let him flush the toilet and watch everything disappear.
How to Train Your Child to Use the Potty
When your child is comfortable sitting on the potty and flushing the toilet, put your child on the potty whenever he shows signs of having to go to the bathroom. Your child’s facial expressions may change or he may suddenly stop what he is doing.
Keep in mind that most children go to the bathroom one hour after having a large drink. Bowel movements occur once a day usually about one hour after eating.
“Getting my son to learn the standing-up thing was hard, so we turned it into a game. I put five Cheerios in the potty and told him to aim at them when he peed. Every time he did it right, he got to pick out a prize from a bag of goodies I picked up at the dollar store.” — Erika Cosentino; Lawrenceville, New Jersey Parents.com
Although you are putting your child on the potty when it appears he has to go, start putting him on the potty regularly, every one- and-a-half or two hours. Stay with him and talk to him or read him a story to relax him. Just as it’s important to praise your child when he goes, don’t belittle him when he doesn’t.
When your child has mastered the potty, he can graduate to an over-the-toilet seat and a step stool.
Although every child is different, most toddlers may take three to six months to be trained to use the toilet during the daytime. Nighttime may take longer because their bladder control diminishes. If after a few months, your child is not progressing, consult your family doctor. Many times when children experience difficulty with potty training, they are simply not ready for the transition.
The secrets to successful potty training your child are knowing when your child is ready, acclimating your child to the potty, recognizing when he has to go, establishing regular potty-sitting intervals, and praising your child every time he accomplishes the task.
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