Tips for Potty Training: 5 Ways to Make Potty-Training a Walk in the Park!
1. Knowing when to start:
Most children are ready between 22 and 30 months of age. It is important to make sure that your child is physically and emotionally ready to be trained. It makes the task much easier if he is ready in both of those areas. All children are ready at different times, so look for these indicators to help you decide.
- Mastery of motor skills such as: climb, talk, remove clothing, and grasp objects.
- Your child's diaper is dry after a nap and after sleeping through the night.
- Control over their bladder muscles. Meaning that he goes go to the bathroom around the same time each day.
- She should want to use the toilet and be excited about it. Forcing her to do it makes the job much more difficult.
- When your child is going through the stage where every answer is "No", you probably shouldn't try to potty train. Wait for her to move past this stage and the whole experience will be much more pleasant for the both of you!
2. Ease into it with a regular routine:
Help your child become familiar with his training toilet by having him sit on it 20 minutes after each meal and a few other times throughout the day. If he doesn't go within a few minutes it is okay to try again later. Try not to force them to do it. If it becomes a chore to them they will begin to resist which will make it harder to train them.
3. Reward Success:
A great way to motivate your child is through rewards. Many parents use sticker charts to help thier child see his progression. Each day he successfully uses the toilet he gets a sticker, and at the end of the week he is rewarded with a prize. You can also choose reward them simply with praise or with smaller rewards each time they use the toilet. If you make it a fun experience for him, he will learn quicker and potty training will be fun!
4. Avoid these common mistakes:
- Beginning during a stressful time in a child's life such as a big move or when you have a newborn.
- Punishing your child for having accidents while he is potty training.
- Enforcing the same method on each of your children. All children are different and will react in different ways. Mold your method to fit your child.
- Starting too early. This one mistake can turn into a nightmare! Starting too early only makes the process longer. So do not push the issue and be patient waiting for your child to indicate that he is ready.
5. Realize it takes time!
Unfortunately potty training your child is not going to happen over the weekend. The average child takes 3 to 6 months to potty train. It can take more or less time for some children. While we all wish it would happen overnight, it doesn't. You should be prepared to take a few months to work on this developmental stage with your toddler. Most of all, try not to become discouraged. It will happen! Remember to allow your child to be physically and emotionally ready and your potentially dreadful experience with potty training will turn into a walk in the park!
Blum NJ, et al. (2003). Relationship between age at initiation of toilet training and duration of training: A prospective study. Pediatrics, 111(4): 810�814.