When your baby starts letting you know that his diaper is dirty – this normally happens between the ages of two and three – you should get ready to start potty training soon. While the exact time of starting is different with each child, you’ll know it’s definitely time to start potty training when your kid tells you just right before he needs to go.
Potty training is an exciting time for any parent. However, as with most milestones, it can be a challenging time for parent and child. Here are some tips that can help you get through this period.
1. Provide incentives.
Incentives come in many forms. You might have to get creative in this department in order for it to have a positive effect on your potty training adventure. Some parents find it effective to reward their child with treats after a successful event using the potty trainer. When using the actual toilet, a reward can be that your child will be the one to flush. Little and simple things like these can help encourage your child to use the potty properly.
2. Involve your child in choosing his potty trainer.
Children like new things and toys. Why not make potty training a fun thing? Instead of merely looking at the merits of various potty trainers out there, it is a good idea to involve your child in the selection. He may not choose the best rated potty trainer, but if he finds one that he likes, you have better chances of having him use it.
3. Get new – fun – underwear.
More than choosing a potty trainer, you can make the whole potty training process fun for your kid in other ways. One way is to go shopping for new underwear. Since this is the beginning of new habits for your child, it is but logical to purchase new underwear that your child will love to use. As with choosing the potty trainer, involve your child in choosing his fun, new underwear.
4. Help your child get used to the potty.
Even if he chooses the potty himself, your child might not feel comfortable using it. If this happens, the best thing that you can do is help him get used to using the potty. You can have potty sitting sessions, wherein he does not even need to actually use it at first. The idea is to make him see that it is not a thing to be afraid of.
5. Try putting the contents of the dirty diaper into the potty to illustrate what happens.
To help your child understand the purpose of the potty – and how it works – you can utilize the power of illustration. Each time he does number two in his diapers, try dumping its contents into the potty, all the while explaining to your child why you are doing it. This will be particularly effective if your child is a visual and experiential learner.
6. Give everyone a break when needed.
Potty training can be a frustrating process for both parent and child at times. When you encounter a roadblock, sometimes the best thing to do is to take a break. You can opt to push it, but you might not get positive results by doing so. If you feel that you need to take it easier on your child, then go ahead and do so. You can always resume potty training when things get a bit more relaxed.
7. Use videos/music and books.
There are a lot of resources that you can use to help your child get used to the idea of using the potty. From songs to videos to books – take advantage of these materials to help your child get used to using the potty. Another technique would be to get several books that your child really loves and designate them as ‘potty books.’ What you can do is to get them out and read them only during potty training time. This can also serve as an incentive to your child and help you achieve success.
8. Give your kid some degree of control.
Your child may be young, but that doesn’t mean that he does not have a need for some degree of control. This is actually an important part of achieving good results. Your child might get too pressured or stressed out about having to use the potty, and when this happens, letting him know that he is (somehow) in control may lessen the pressure.
9. Be patient.
Throughout it all, you have to remember to be patient. You may not remember being potty trained yourself, but it certainly is not easy on your child. You need to take it easy yourself and not get stressed out if your child doesn’t seem to be getting it right. In any case, studies are showing that more parents are starting potty training later. Don’t fret if you don’t succeed at once. You’ll get there.