Parenting Tips on Potty Training for Toddlers

By | November 2, 2013

Potty training for toddlers may be relatively easy or could take longer than you expect, depending on your child. Usually children are ready to learn how to use a potty in their second year, but it may differ. It is advisable to watch for signs of your toddler being ready to understand potty training methods before you begin actually training him or her. As with any other skill, the most effective potty training methods are patient and understanding.

Readiness for Easy Potty Training

For easy potty training, watch for signs of curiosity in your child when siblings or family members go to the bathroom. If your toddler is aware of bowel movements, can notify you by body language or sounds, or tells you about soiled nappies, it shows an increasing amount of control and understanding about this bodily function. Also, if your child remains dry or needs to use the toilet at regular timings, it shows a level of control. This is the right time to begin using potty training methods.

Tips on Potty Training

Before you begin, it is a good idea to introduce your child gradually to the idea of sitting on a potty, and other potty training methods. Allow toddlers to be in the bathroom when you are using it, teach them how to flush, let them watch the flush work, encourage and answer questions about the process of elimination: these are all effective tips on potty training and will help to introduce them to the concept of potty usage. Allow your child to select his or her own potty if possible, and let them know it is theirs to use.

Potty Training for Toddlers

Children may be apprehensive about what exactly they are supposed to do on the potty. Explain in detail what the potty is used for, or use feces from a dirty diaper to demonstrate it by placing it in the potty first and then disposing of it in the toilet. Potty training for toddlers can be confusing and stressful, especially if it becomes a source of disciplining and scolding. Reinforce the idea that using a potty is a grown-up activity, but do not insist on your child sitting on the potty if they don’t want to.

Other tips on potty training include: Let them sit on the potty fully clothed at first if they want, to get comfortable on it. At first, children using a potty may take a long time to complete a bowel movement because it is a new feeling. It helps to add fun to potty training for toddlers, by talking to them, encouraging them, or distracting them with a story or nursery rhyme when they are on the potty.

Potty Training Accidents

Even with excellent potty training methods, children are still likely to have ‘accidents’. Make it a point not to scold or show disappointment to children who have soiled their clothes. Deal with it in a cheerful manner and praise them when they successfully use the potty next time. Bear in mind that children may not be able to control their elimination at night and may still have to wear a diaper. Placing a child on the potty last thing at night and restricting water for an hour before bed-time will lead to dry diapers in the morning fairly soon after they are potty trained.

Things to remember before beginning potty training for toddlers: It is important to remember not to introduce potty training methods during times of stress or illness for a child. This could be anything from a disruption in routine, family problems, new babies or moving house, to any other change that seems to be causing some amount of adjustment issues or stress. Children usually take between 3-6 months to learn how to use a potty regularly, but it varies, and parents must watch children for signs of readiness.

References:

1. Toilet Teaching Your Child – Kids Health

2. Toilet Training Your Child – Family Doctor

3. Toilet Training – BBC UK

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