Toilet Training | Helpful Tips to Potty Train Your Child | NextMamas
Toilet training is a significant developmental milestone in toddlers. Mastering this “art” gives them more independence and confidence. Most children between ages 18-24 months develop sufficient control over their bladder and show readiness for toilet training. But each child is unique; while some children get trained at age 2, others may not be ready until age 3. Usually, boys take longer to potty train than girls.
Toilet training is a process of trial and error for the parent and the child. It requires consistency and patience on the parent’s part to teach a child this necessary skill. Consulting a pediatrician can help.
Signs Your Child is Ready to Potty Train:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends potty training only when a child shows interest and readiness.
- A child keeps the diaper dry for a couple of hours.
- Dislikes the feeling of a wet and dirty diaper.
- Able to comprehend simple instructions.
- Tries to imitate elders in the toilet.
- Recognizes basic toilet-related terminologies (e.g., Poop and pee).
- Develops physical strength to pull their underpants up and down.
Useful toilet training tips for parents:
Preparing a child:
- Teach words to express their sensation associated with the physical need to use the toilet (e.g., Urine, poop).
- Demonstrate the process of using the toilet to inspire adult mimicking.
- Dress up a child in the right clothing that is easy to pull on and off.
- Let them sit on the potty with the pants/diaper on for getting familiar.
- Watch for signs; wriggling, pausing the play, hiding under a table/ in a room, and ask them if they need to go to the potty?
- Let them choose their potty and favorite color underpants to make it exciting.
Practical Steps to toilet training:
Once the child seems mentally and physically ready, it is time to start the training.
Set time and be consistent:
- Have them use the potty immediately in the morning after waking up and before going to bed.
- Let the child sit on the potty every hour or two.
- Intervals should be shorter after drinking and eating.
Remove the diaper:
- Some prefer to start with pull-ups that minimize messes and later switch to cotton training pants when the child gains confidence in toilet training.
- The second approach is to let the child play without pants in an easy-to-clean area (backyard, bare floor, etc). It allows them to experience the discomfort of being wet.
Avoid getting emotional:
- Don’t publicly express joy (A toddler in its “terrible twos” stage may begin to oppose a parent’s will).
- Don’t display disappointment because it discourages a child.
Watch for the signs such as leg crossing and pausing and lead them to the potty.
In the beginning, rewarding their efforts can make this learning process more fun. A reward can be a simple sticker of their choice.
How long does it take to potty train?
It can take 2 to 6 months to toilet train a child. However, full night time training can take few extra months. Note: a child with special needs can take longer to potty train.
Toilet training is an exhausting process, and accidents are unavoidable. A parent needs to accept it and show forbearance for mishaps. Don’t punish or force a child against their will; it will only delay the progress. Consult the child’s pediatrician to develop the right strategy and questions regarding this process.
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