Few parenting efforts cause mothers of toddlers more anxiety than potty training. Although you may know your child will eventually graduate from diapers, starting the process can raise many questions and concerns. Experienced mothers, friends and relatives often like to offer advice about potty training methods they used. When it comes to teaching your child how to use the toilet, certain techniques may work better than other methods. Practicing patience, as well as offering support and encouragement, will help you and your child accomplish this important goal.
Wait until your toddler begins to show signs of readiness. Like other areas of physical development, the ability to control bowel movements and urination require a level of physical maturity. Notice when your toddler begins to stay dry for hours at a time and when he gets up from a nap with a dry diaper. If your child tries to remove soggy or soiled diapers, he may be ready to begin potty training.
Begin teaching your child about potty training by making the toilet a familiar part of his life. Tell him when you or his older siblings go to the restroom. Let him know this is a normal part of daily life for everyone. Allow him to flush to toilet, encouraging him to feel comfortable with this device.
Although many parents allow their children in the restroom with them, others may feel uncomfortable with an audience. Check out the selection of picture books for toddlers that describe and illustrate potty training. Show him how to sit on his own potty chair and encourage him to try to make his bowel movements in the potty bowl.
Create an environment for success by noticing when he normally feels the urge to have a bowel movement. Encourage him to sit on his chair at these times, as well as once every hour or two, throughout the day. Many toddlers need to urinate within about 30 minutes after drinking a large quantity of juice or water. Keep him near the chair during this time.
Praise works for many types of training, including potty training. Begin by emptying the contents of a soiled diaper into his new potty chair, explaining this is the correct place for the stool. Show excitement when the stool lands in the potty bowl. Clap for him when he uses his chair. Praising him for his actions may motivate him to use his chair, instead of his diaper.
Offer little rewards for a job well done. Let him pick out some big kid pants to reinforce his feelings of accomplishment. Sing his favorite song with him when he manages to make it to his potty chair in time. Let him place a sticker on his piece of paper (perhaps a potty training chart you’ve made) whenever he uses his chair.