How to Potty Train Your Toddler -Do you have a toddler in your house and thinking about potty training? A curious parent is sure to have many questions in mind, like when to start potty training, whether it’s going to be a tedious process, how the child will react, how much time it’s is going to take, and many more. This article helps to answer all your queries and educate you with all the dos and don’ts of potty training.
What is the right age to start potty training?
Parents need to be aware that every child is unique. When it comes to potty training, some children learn as soon as they reach 12 months, while many take their own time like two or three years. Look for signs in kids (discussed below) before you start the training, and this article covers all the crucial points a parent should know about potty training. We request you to go through all the aspects and pick the ones that best suit your baby as all kids cannot be trained similarly.
Before starting the training process, make sure you are free from commitments like scheduling a vacation, shifting the house, planning for another baby, etc. As this may cause some disrupt from regularity and yet another vital factor to keep in mind is that the training takes less time when both parents and the child are following a daily routine.
Signs that your toddler show when they are ready to be potty trained?
Before you start potty training, check if your toddler is showing any these signs:
- Started walking and can sit for short periods
- Understands simple instructions like “Give this plate to mom.”
- Pulls the pants up and down with ease
- Regularity in bowel movements
- Signs of dry nappies for one to two hours which indicates the baby is developing bladder control
- Showing curiosity when other family members use the washroom
- Tries to show symptoms after passing poo like discomfort in wearing wet nappies, some toddlers make efforts to pull off the diapers, while some give weird facial expressions
If you have noticed any of these signs in your kid, you can go ahead and start the training process. There is no specific time limit to get potty trained as it may vary from weeks to months, while research says girls learn faster than boys. The average time a toddler may take is around three months.
A child is considered to be potty trained when he/she starts using the washroom with little or no assistance though kids may seek parents’ support for wiping/washing after bowel moments till they reach 4-6 years.
10 Tips on Potty Training
1. Inform Your Toddler In Advance
You must prepare your child in advance for potty training as it requires their support to pursue the process. When you plan to buy the potty, take your child along with you and make them select one of their choices as this gesture brings in excitement and curiosity within the child. Some moms buy more than one potty and keep them in multiple places inside the house as the baby can easily access them whenever needed. It is a suggestion, and you can choose the best that suits your toddler. It is also advisable to teach your baby a few words like pee, poo, potty, “I need to go” as it makes the job easier!
2. Keep Your Toddler Motivated
Motivation is essential as it excites the child! Choose something your baby loves like stickers, sketch pens, books, toys, etc. Get something wise and not too expensive so that you can circulate and reuse them throughout the training.
For example, take a basket and fill it with small toys, each time your baby uses the potty, gift one toy from the basket. By the end of the day, put them all into the basket and start the process fresh the next day. While handing over the toy, praise your toddler by saying words like “Good Work,” “Keep it up,” if your child likes clapping, clap for his/her achievement.
3. Keep a reminder to put the toddler on the potty at regular intervals
As you start the training, it’s essential to put your baby frequently on the potty. Start with 15 minutes interval and gradually increase to 30 minutes and then one hour. You should keep a reminder or set the alarm as with daily chores; this can easily slip out of your mind.
Another way of doing this is to keep the toddler on potty half an hour after food or bath. Once a routine is set, within a few weeks, the child will start intimating when he/she has to pee/poo.
4. Let go the accidents
Every practice takes its own time! Stay calm when accidents happen. Talk to your baby gently and make him/her aware of the importance of using a potty and let go of the accidents!
5. Give awareness on hygiene
Along with potty training, it’s essential to educate the child on hygiene, like cleaning the hands and legs. Get a footstool, and after your baby, pee/poo, teach him/her to clean the hands and wash the legs before leaving the toilet. By teaching these practices daily, you are inculcating good habits in your child.
6. Don’t lose patience
Repeated accidents or less successful events may turn the training sessions more tiresome, and this is where you need to maintain your calm because if you give up, the child may quickly go out of track. Take a small break if needed, and as much as possible, continue the training with a calm and happy mind-set.
Some kids get trained within weeks, while some take months. Whether we try too hard or not, eventually, all children will get potty trained. So don’t put too much pressure and make the process chaotic.
7. Purchase trainer pants
Wearing trainer pants to the baby makes him/her more conscious of pee and poo as it gives the feel of wetness. If possible, purchase a sufficient number of trainer pants as washing and cleaning the pants doesn’t become a stressful job. It is preferable to go for trainer pants throughout the day except for nap time and nighttime sleep.
8. Limit bedtime drinks
Kids quickly achieve daytime continence while it takes time to ditch the night diapers. If your baby has a habit of drinking milk/juice before bedtime, offer it one hour in advance, and the same applies to food – this practice ensures they stay dry throughout the night.
9. Be creative
Kids love fun, and to engage them in the process makes the training a fun activity by adding more creative elements. For example
- You can have a potty song and sing it whenever your baby walks towards the potty
- Keep his/her favorite book in a rack near the toilet
- Drip some food coloring into the water in the toilet
You can implement your innovative ideas according to your toddler’s taste!
10. Get books that educate your toddler on potty training
A better and smart way of teaching your tot about potty training is through books. Some of the suggestions we have for you are:
- Diapers Are Not Forever
- Everybody Poops
- Potty (Leslie Patricelli board books)
- Daniel Goes to the Potty (Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood)
- Princess Polly's Potty: a Ladybird Potty Training Book
- P is for Potty!
How did you potty train your toddler? Do you have other tips on potty training to share with us? Feel free to comment below.
Viji, a freelance writer who loves to write articles on various domains. She worked as a developer for a couple of years, later moved to content writing as she had a strong passion for the same.