How to Potty Train Your Child

Potty training a baby at such a young age is a tricky milestone to achieve. Potty training requires time, patience and vigilance to observe the kid’s anticipation for potty and train them rightfully. The age for potty training is a crucial figure to consider, if the child is not mentally prepared then it’s wise to wait until they are ready.

The best age for potty training is between 18 months to 24 months but it is highly dependent on the kid’s efficiency to learn and follow the pattern of training. When to start potty training the child totally depends upon how well their parents can understand the non-verbal communication.

Elimination Communication

It is hard to potty train a child who has not reached the proper age for training and has yet to learn to speak properly, parents observe and learn to recognize their child’s body signals that shows some of the common non-verbal indications such as;

  • Repetitive pattern:  Parents should note the routine of child’s elimination and try to train them by removing diapers and using potty stool at exactly the same intervals. For example; if the child pees after three hours nap each day or after feeding then these are repetitive pattern and parents can use this to properly train them.
  • Body language:   Some of the body language signs include;
    • Red face
    • Gurgling noise
    • Constant stirring

Parents use these signs as the readiness of the baby to eliminate and instantly hold them over a toilet or potty seat. Sometimes parents use different type of sounds to cue the baby before the elimination. This pattern is repeated until the baby learns to wait for the cue before releasing the content. 

Potty training the toddler or baby?

Potty training a baby is difficult unless parents understand the signs without the baby voicing for the need to eliminate. Baby potty training is somehow easier compared to training a toddler of age 18 to 24 months because they are resistive to train on potty chair. But the toddler of 24 to 36 months might be easier to deal with as they have advanced in their developmental skills and would need to learn toilet skills to be independent.

In each case, the child requires constant assistance of their parents until they reach the age of 36 months. They need help with wiping, washing hands, pants pulling up and down, and sitting on potty chair.

Signs of readiness for potty training

The child is ready for potty training as they show the signs;

  • Do as they are told
  • Follow the basic instructions properly.
  • Dry diaper for longer period.
  • Does not like wearing diapers.
  • Can pull their up and down on their own.
  • Trying to get independent.
  • Verbal communication.
  • Scrunching the face or crossing their legs.
  • Repetitive pattern of bowel movement.
  • Shows no resistance against potty seat or toilet.
  • When children walk and sit on potty seat on their own.

Preparing a baby before potty training

It is necessary to look out for the signs of readiness in babies to potty train otherwise they would be resistive against the idea of sitting on a toilet seat.

Tricks to prepare the baby for potty training

  • Place the fully clothed baby on the potty seat for early preparation, while sing or read them something for a few minutes.
  • Repeat this routine for about three times a day to encourage the child.
  • Observe the pattern of elimination in children and try to put the child on potty seat at that specific time. For example; children often have full bladder and bowel after feeding therefore placing the child on the potty training seat and encouraging them would do the trick.
  • Initially, parents put the potty chair in the place where the child spends most of their time to get them interested in using it. After sometime, of continuous pattern they put the chair in the bathroom and encourage the child to use it by following methods like reading, singing etc.
  • Some parents repetitively ask their children if they need to go to the loo or not.

Additional tips for better preparation

What parents need for the baby’s potty training depends upon the developmental and acknowledging skills of the child. Some of the things that might encourage the baby for potty training includes;

  • Book reading – read them their story book to calm their nerves.
  • Singing – parents use the method of singing to cue their child for potty, as they have been trained for at regular intervals.
  • Potty seats – children find it hard to use toilet seats in the beginning therefore potty seats are preferred as they are useable by the children of any height. It gives the child a sense of independence and encourages them to use it on their own.
  • Footstool – if the child is using the toilet seat then a footstool is required so they can use it to get on the seat.
  • Small toilet seat – a small extension of toilet seat is necessary that fits the toilet seat for the child.

How to potty train?

Potty training requires some time and effort therefore plan the training accordingly as it is energy consuming as well. Children are bound to be resistive against something they are not used to like no diapers or using a scary toilet seat. A few methods shared hereby encourage parents to follow them up for potty training of their child.

Word selection

Verbal communication is a compulsory step in training the child. Small words selected by the parents can be set as cue for the child to go to toilet, like; pee, poo.

Equipment required

Footstools or small steps are required nearby the toilet seat so the child can rest their feet atop it and sit with ease on the toilet seat. Encourage the child to use toilet seat and take initiative steps by using potty chair for training.

Scheduled routine

Set a routine for the child to sit on the potty chair without wearing a diaper, for at least two minutes after every two hours interval. This will initiate a routine schedule for the child and will mimic the pattern to use the potty chair on their own.

  • Quick response:  Children often give out signs before doing anything such as they squirm or become restless which indicates that they might need to use toilet. Parents need to respond quickly when they observe these and head to the toilet along with the child. Praise them at repeated intervals to encourage them.  
  • Hygiene care:  If the child is at the age where he can understand the basics then try to teach them the benefits of hygienic care and use of toilet when needed.

No diapers

After successful weeks of potty training, if the diaper remains dry then try to ditch the diapers for a time being. Children at this age find it difficult to ditch diapers henceforth a little encouragement and sweet talks is necessary.

Do not push the child to use toilet if they does not want to, it will put a negative impact on the child and they might show frustration and throw random tantrums. Take it slow and easy but do not push it too far.

Common mistakes during potty training

Some of the parents are eager to get their children learn about potty and toilet usage. But there are some common mistakes that they make while training;

  • Early stage training – potty training before the minimum age limit is not always successful but the children totally relies on their parents for assistance. It can be frustrating for the caretakers at some point if the baby is left in their care.
  • Pushing the child – Pressurizing the child to learn is not the wise choice but parents often forget and try to push the child to learn the basic of potty training.
  • Discouraging behavior – Negative words might make a negative impact on the child’s behavior. Parents often show frustration when the child eliminates body fluid which is not good. They need to encourage their children with positive words.
  • Setbacks and accidents – Potty training does not stop when the child learns to use the toilet properly, they still require assistance at certain instances. Like the occasional occurrence in school is not unusual for children; after the potty training parents need to prepare for the outcome until their child is groomed enough to take care of themselves.
    Even after potty training, the child faces some setback and accidents.
    • Bedwetting – at night the child might wet the bed in sleep which is totally out of their control and it is solely dependent on how well they have control over their motor skills.
    • Unusual accidents – children often lose control over their bowel or bladders at home or at school which parents should not stress over. It occurs when the child undergoes physical changes like restrained activities, constipation, behavioral or developmental changes.

It takes some time for the child to use the toilet properly therefore parents should not stress over it and they are advised to remain calm while they handle this situation with care.

Final words

Most of the parents expect their child to potty train from an early stage which solely depends upon the child’s capacity to control their motor skills. It is rather a good idea that parents train their child for toilet usage when they are aware of their own body signals and can communicate about the need to eliminate.

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