Potty training is an important milestone in a child’s life and indicates a readiness to grow up and adjust to societal norms. Potty training is the process where a child learns or is trained to defecate or urinate in a potty.
He is able to clearly express the need to use the toilet without soiling his diaper and has also mastered the ability to exercise control over his bladder. For parents, it is a much looked forward to event as it means a reduction in the use of diapers and lesser expenditure. While some children get potty trained faster, some take longer than usual. There are ways to potty train your child and make it a success.
When To Potty Train?
Children get potty trained at their own speed and time. The best time to start potty training your child is when he starts to sit up. However some children show reluctance and difficulties at being trained at this young an age. There are some ways to indicate that this is the right time to potty train your child. Parents should ideally wait till the child’s urine and bowel movements have regulated. This happens around the age of one when the frequency and time of using the toilet gets fixed. Also the bowel movements are soft.
The child indicates that he is defecating by touching his stomach or bum, grunting and exercising force. The child understand a simple ‘yes ‘or ‘no’ and can follow simple instructions. He should also understand the meaning of ‘potty’. More often than not children show an aversion to being potty trained. Parents should wait till the child shows signs of understanding and appreciating the nuances of potty training.
The child should also sit still for the period when he is doing potty as some children have a habit of getting up from their potty and walking away. As children grow up and observe their parents, they develop clear ideas about cleanliness and may dislike being in a soiled diaper.
Which Potty To Buy
Once your child is ready to be potty trained, you may get an appropriate potty for him. These potties are small in size, plastic and very comfortable. They are called child potties and the child can comfortably sit on them with his feet touching the ground. One also gets smaller plastic potty covers which one can install on an adult potty. However the height can be rather intimidating for a child. The child potty is mobile and can be carried everywhere. However they have to be cleaned every time the child defecates or urinates in them.
Routine The Child
Once you have decided to potty train your child, start with a routine. Let the child sit on the potty for some time everyday in order to get accustomed to the potty. You can do this after every feed or whenever the child expresses the urge to defecate. If the child is showing an unwillingness to sit on the potty, don’t force him. Let him take his own time in getting used to the potty. A good way of doing this is keeping the potty along with his other toys.
Get Rid Of The Diaper
Once the child gets used to sitting on the potty, you may remove his nappy or diaper. You may now begin to explain to him that he should sit on the potty only and pass urine and that it is an adult thing to do. You can also have some verbal cue to initiate the start of potty. The first time the toddler understands and produces something, do give him positive reinforcement like clapping for him and hugging him. This is very important for positive results. As this happens the child will show an ability to defecate in the potty only.
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But do not push him. Let him take his own time. There will be days when the routine will change. It is wise to make the child sit on the potty after every meal. Once that is done, you should take your child to the toilet and wash him. Explain to him the importance of washing himself and keeping his hands clean. Once the child is older teach him to also dress and undress himself before his potty routine.
Increase the child’s independence by letting him run around the potty, see the potty and also feel and touch it. Explain to the child that he must start telling you every times he feels the need to use the potty. Once the child gets significantly potty trained you may not feel the need to use diapers. You can get some knickers or bloomers for your child to wear. The added advantage to them is that the child will feel uncomfortable in them if he happens to soil them thus reinforcing the potty habit.
Don’t Lose Your Cool
All children err in their quest to get potty trained, so be patient. There will be times when he poops in his pants and is unable to tell you. For a child to be completely potty trained, it will take at least two years so be patient. Once the child can open and shut the bathroom door, you can also teach him to dump the potty contents into the big flush. This will let him know that he has to clean his own potty.
It is crucial to train your child and help him adapt to a night time routine. Night training is an entirely different ball game and will require several months of persistent efforts. As the child sleeps he has little control over his bladder so he may frequently urinate at night into his nappy. For this you will have to start a strict bed time ritual where you make the child sit on the potty and tell him to urinate. You should also restrict his fluid intake before bed time. Make it a habit to wake up the child at night at a two hourly interval. This will teach him to train his bladder and curtail his urine output. Leave his potty next to him at night so that he finds it easier to use it.
When your child is indeed potty trained it will be a reason for both of you to celebrate because mastery of this skill requires immense patience and time.
Fun Times During Potty Training
You can make potty training pleasurable by reading out books to your child, singing to her and buying musical potties for your child. The musical potty claps or squeals in pleasure once the child has used it. It can be immense fun for your child.
Potty Training Obstacles
Do not start training the child unless he is ready and is able to exercise control over his bladder. Ignore advice from well meaning relatives. A lot has changed since then and you are the best judge to know when your child should be potty trained. Do not start potty training unless you can follow it with consistency. Starting it when one is shifting house or travelling is not recommended. It only confuses the child.
Punishing, scolding or spanking the child too can be an obstacle and is best avoided. Respond to messy clean ups with calm and rationale, keep your temper in check and start slowly and gradually. Your child will soon be potty trained.