Is your toddler ready for potty training? We often tend to make that determination by the age of the child, but professionals are now telling us that the determining factor should be physical and emotional readiness instead. In some cultures parents begin potty training when the toddler is 12 months old, but most kids don’t show an interest until they reach the age of 2 or 2 ½ years old.
How To Determine If Your Toddler Is Ready For Potty Training
Here is a list of signs you should watch for:
• Does your child start to take an interest in underwear?
• Does your child understand basic directions, and does the child follow those directions?
• When in the bathroom, does your child wonder out loud why big kids and adults use a toilet?
• If you have a potty chair, does your toddler sometimes go and sit on the potty chair?
• Does your toddler let you know through facial expressions, posture or words that he or she needs to go?
• Can your child go for at least two hours during the day without going?
• Does your toddler start to dislike wet or dirty diapers?
• Has your child tried pull-ups, and is he or she able to pull pants up and down yet?
When you notice the signs listed above, your toddler is ready to begin the process of potty training.
Ready, Set, Go! It’s Time To Start The Process Of Potty Training
Position a potty chair, if you have one, as close to your toilet as possible. If there isn’t room in the bathroom for a potty chair, you might consider getting a slip-proof low foot stool that the child can safely climb up on to get on the toilet. If you can, or need to, purchase a potty chair, look for a model with a removable top that can be placed directly on your toilet.
Remember that potty training should be fun. The more fun a child has while training, the faster the child will master potty training. Do you like to read when you sit on your toilet? If your child has seen you doing this, placing some of the child’s picture books near the potty chair can be an incentive for the child to want to graduate from diapers to the potty seat of toilet.
There are also wonderful kid friendly potty training tools like potty songs. The songs show toddlers in sequence how to use a toilet like a big kid. Kids love them and they are also a fun way for them to learn the basics.
Parent Tips For Frustration Free Potty Training
Accidents: When a child is learning to use the toilet there will be accidents. Expect it. Don’t get impatient or angry with the child. That can set back the process of potty training. Encourage the child and let the child know that it is okay. Accidents will happen, especially at night even after the child is doing really well during the day. Nighttime potty training can take years. Also, boys take longer as a rule to master potty training than girls.
Fast Response: When your toddler indicates that they need to go, drop everything and get the child to the toilet immediately while they are learning.
Schedule Potty Breaks: At first a child can easily forget to go to the bathroom when they need to go. Routine will take over after a while, but not at first. If you get a child into the habit of using the toilet when they get up in the morning, after meals and snacks, before going out and at nap and bedtimes, they will adjust more quickly.
Patience: Above all else have patience. Potty training doesn’t happen overnight, but when it is finally mastered remember to celebrate. Praise goes a LONG way! Your toddler will not only be proud of themselves, but they will be building confidence.