It’s no surprise because of the high cost of diapers and the tedious effort that goes into changing them, that parents are excited when children finally achieve potty training success. Getting a child to that point can be a challenge, particularly for stubborn children. Because each toddler is different, it is important to learn several potty training tips to assist your toddler on his way to a diaper free lifestyle.
Watch for signs of readiness in your toddler. If he is not ready for potty training, the result will be frustration for everyone. Potential signs of potty training readiness include keeping his diaper dry for periods of two to three hours, feeling of discomfort with a wet or soiled diaper, showing interest, ability to follow simple commands, and ability to indicate and feel when urination or bowel movements are about to occur. Toddlers who are not ready may resist potty training efforts and take longer to succeed. Age is a factor, but every toddler is different so it is not the only indicator of potty training readiness.
Introduce the Potty
Show your toddler the potty and allow her to explore it. Sit her on the potty before bath time after she is undressed. Watch for her to show interest throughout the day, and offer her the chance to try it out. Offering both a small potty chair and a special seat on the regular toilet may increase success. Toddlers may prefer one over the other.
Books and Videos
Many children’s books and videos about potty training are available. Reading these books and watching the videos may spark interest in your toddler.
Encouraging your toddler to potty train a doll is a good start to potty training. It takes the pressure off of the toddler while allowing him to explore potty training.
An incentive chart is a positive reinforcement tool to encourage attempts at potty training. Make a simple sticker chart to document each time your toddler uses the potty. Determine the number of stickers that must be earned to achieve the reward. Keep the incentive chart near the potty as a physical reminder and motivator.
Accidents usually happen when a toddler is actively engaged in an activity. Ask your toddler frequently if she needs to go potty. A potty timer can turn the process into a game. Set a timer for 30 minutes. When the timer rings, it’s potty time. Continue to set the timer every 30 minutes. The length of time may be adjusted based on your toddler’s needs.
Skip Training Diapers
Training diapers that pull up are common during potty training. Moving straight to underwear in a toddler who is ready for potty training will save money and may be more effective. Many toddlers only need a few accidents wearing underwear to be successful at potty training. Allowing your toddler to pick out his own underwear at the store may be a motivator.
Take a Break
Forcing your toddler into potty training can be counterproductive. A stubborn toddler is frustrating when potty training. If your toddler refuses to use the potty, has continuous accidents or becomes upset regularly, take a break. Let your toddler show you when he is ready to resume potty training efforts. A break of a few weeks or months can make a big difference.
Even small potty training successes are worthy of celebration. The positive reinforcement will encourage your toddler to continue making efforts. When accidents occur, remain positive and brush it off. Encourage your toddler to try again.
Avoid punishing your toddler for accidents. This can cause shame and frustration. It may cause set backs in the potty training process. Remember that toddlers are still learning to control their muscles and bodily functions. Young toddlers may not physically be ready to control those muscles and avoid accidents. Other toddlers fear potty training for a variety of reasons. While these fears may seem irrational to adults, they are real emotions for toddlers. Respect these fears instead of belittling them.