Potty training is one of the most difficult challenges a parent can deal with. However, many parents find overcoming this challenge to be very rewarding. With a few tips, you can help your children achieve this milestone without stressing them out. Different strategies work with different children, but they all have one thing in common – they give the child the confidence they need to go potty on their own.
How Will I Know When My Child Can Be Potty Trained?
If your child is not ready to go potty without a diaper, even the best strategies will fall short. Here are some signs that indicate your child is ready to be potty trained:
You aren’t changing as many diapers as you normally do – Toddlers pee a lot till they are 20 months old, but once they can remain dry for a few hours, it means they have regained control over their bladder and are getting ready to be trained on a potty.
Your child tells you when they need to go potty – Your child will start to let you know that they have to go to the loo or need to pee or poo. They will either use their words or facial expression to convey their request. This is a clear sign that they need some training for going potty on their own.
Your child starts to reject diapers – You notice that your child starts to hate diapers or doesn’t want to keep wearing the one they soiled because they think it’s disgusting. At this point, they may ask you to use the bathroom as mummy and daddy do.
Positive Potty Training Tips
Most kids are not ready to be potty trained until they are 2 years of age, and some may even take 2 more years. The important thing to remember is that patience is a virtue at this point. Here are some tips and strategies that can make your child more confident on the potty and make your job a lot easier:
Train in Sessions
Forcing your child to pee and poo on command will not do anything but cause them to be constipated. Create a schedule for potty training in batches, such as early in the morning, the afternoon, and a few hours before bedtime. Allow them to play, eat, and drink, as they usually do, but when you think they are making a face or straining because they have to go, place them on the potty chair for 15 minutes.
Whether they go or not, put their diapers back on and let them go on with their day. Make sure that you have a spare potty chair in the car when you go out with the kids so you can continue training sessions.
Get Rid Of the Diapers
Making your home diaper-free may not be every parent’s cup of tea, but it will make you work extra hard to make sure your child doesn’t go anywhere but on the potty automatically. Your child will hold it in because they know they don’t have a diaper to catch it in and can ruin their clothes.
Yes, you may have to clean up a few messes for the first few days and deal with your kid’s crying, but both of you will get used to potty training eventually. For extra reinforcement, get rid of night diapers and training pants as well, so you don’t confuse your child.
Kids love to be validated for their efforts just like adults, and you can use this to encourage your children to go potty on their own. Use stamps, stickers, stars, candy, or anything that your child loves as incentives for making progress. Kick it up a notch by letting them pick out their own special prize for their first milestone, such as consecutive dry nights.
Once they achieve major milestones (like if they go to the bathroom on their own for a week), reward them by giving them a tasty treat to eat or a trip to the amusement park. If you want the reward to be budget-friendly, do an art project with them and stick it on the fridge so they can see it and remain motivated.
Show and Tell
This may be a stretch, but the best way to train children to do anything is by example. Sure, you can tell them how they should sit on the toilet, wipe, and flush, but a live demonstration will be much more efficient.
If they see their mum or dad going to the loo without feeling embarrassed, they will be more willing to mimic that behaviour. Yes, this will be embarrassing for you the first time around, but once you see your kids doing the same without much persuasion, the effort will be worth it.
Keep an Eye on Their Behaviour
Just like adults, children like privacy when they want to go. However, unlike adults, they don’t know how to make their parents understand their need. Rather than scolding them, observe their behaviour when you think they want to go. Some may go quietly into a corner and squat. Also ask them if they want to go to the bathroom frequently, and remind them that the bathroom or potty chair is the best place to poop or pee.
This may take some time, but, with time, your children will understand that you keep pestering them for their own good and will not give you a hard time. Eventually, they may even come right up to you when they want to go so you can help them get their clothes off or just supervise as they go on their own.
Get Kid-Sized Toilet Seats
Have you ever sat on a toilet that didn’t have a seat down? Remember the terrifying feeling when your feet went up in the air, and your bum landed inside the toilet seat? Now imagine that fear multiplied tenfold for a child who is smaller than you.
In other words, get a special toilet seat that they can sit on while doing their business and make sure their feet can rest comfortably on a stool while they are taking care of their business. Dangling legs will only stiffen rectal muscles, causing constipation and making defecation difficult.
What Not To Do During Potty Training
Don’t Start Potty Training During A Stressful Time
Unlike adults, children are not mature enough to handle stress, and training them anything new during stressful situations will only backfire. These stressful situations include wedding, vacations, divorce, funerals, and any other life-changing event, which makes them uneasy or afraid.
If you and your family are going through any such event, stop potty training till the problem passes. Wait till life settles down and normal activity resumes before continuing with the training sessions. Your children will be in a much calmer and cooperative state of mind then, and you will have more time to give them your undivided attention.
Don’t Show Disappointment
Few things scare or disturb children more than disappointing their parents. Similarly, if you frown or scold your children when they fail to go potty on their own, you can make the process harder for them and for yourself. At that point, they may shut down and even start crying the next time you try and train.
The key is to let them accept the potty in their own time and whatever you do, don’t compare them to their siblings or other kids who are already potty trained. Potty training is a milestone for each child, and each child has their own emotional and physical needs. By encouraging them with positive words, you can do a lot to ease their embarrassment and discomfort with the process. This will take some time, but your patience will go a long way in ensuring your children can ease into this stage in their development.
Don’t Give in to External Pressure
When your child gets to a certain age, you will get unsolicited potty training advice from parents, grandparents, teachers, playgroup administrators, and even your other kids. While some advice may actually be effective, some may not resonate with you or be completely unsuitable for your child’s development.
The key is to go with your own instinct, and only make use of the advice that you know will work and won’t harm your child. You are the best judge of this and not someone who doesn’t know your child and what they respond well to.
The worst thing you can do at this point is competing with other parents. Remember, each child has their own learning pace. Stressing out because someone else’s kid was potty trained a week ago will only compromise your child’s training.
Don’t Punish your Child
Punishing your child each time they fail to go potty on their own will do nothing but make the child fearful of the process. Over time, they will refuse to sit on the potty, throw tantrums when you try taking them to one, or start having more accidents.
Parenting is not easy, but it can be rewarding if you are patient and act like the adult in the relationship. Setbacks are common in any training session but rather than allowing their failures to upset you, maintain a calm demeanour and reassure your child that they will eventually learn how to go to the loo on their own.
Don’t Go Overboard With Rewards
While positive reinforcement is a great way to motivate children, doing it a lot can have the opposite effect. Go for small incentives, like a lollipop or a sticker, rather than huge prizes, like an expensive trip to Disney World.
If a child is not ready to go potty and is offered a large reward if they do, that will only place undue pressure on them and make them more anxious. They will hyper-focus on the prize and will only feel disappointed and angry when they are unable to get it. Plus, even if they can get that prize, you may not be able to convince them to repeat their performance for a smaller incentive.
Don’t Focus On Night Training Only
Dry nights are a parent’s dream but focusing on training your child out of bedwetting during bedtime is not a good idea. When kids take longer to control their bladder at night, it is a sign that they still need to make more progress.
Use overnight training pants and a waterproof mattress until your child learns to hold their pee in during sleep rather than forcing them to go potty when they can’t. Most potty-trained children wet the bed at night until they are 8 years of age unless they have a medical condition. A bedwetting alarm will work wonders for night training.
Make dry nights for your child a reality by opting for the Peepiya Bedwetting Treatment Solution from Qutek Junior. The state-of-the-art, child-friendly bedwetting alarm alerts kids when they have to the loo and ensures stronger bladder control.
The alarm has been clinically proven to work after a few weeks of use, and it is entirely non-invasive. The wearable alarm is equipped with sensitive sensor clips that can fit in a child’s pyjamas, and the alarm system can be strapped on small arms easily. When the sensors get wet, the alarm goes off and wakes up the child, and they can then go and relieve themselves or wake you up before it is too late. Say goodbye to wet sheets and hello to a confident child with the Peepiya Bedwetting Treatment Solution.