We’ve covered the stinky subject of poop countless times on this website, but just when you thought that leaky diapers and explosive diarrhea were the last of your parenting nightmares, wait till you start potty-training your child.
As cute as it may sound, the training is a pure nightmare especially to first-time parents who lack just as much experience in the domain as their clueless toddlers. It takes a lot of accidents, patience, and more oopsies before achieving this milestone.
Since it’s a skill that needs to be taught, some toddlers get it within days whereas others may take months to get fully trained.
Keep in mind that the shift from diaper to potty may happen when they are as young as 18 months or as late as up to 4 years old, or when they are about to enter kindergarten – but it is important not to pressure your child into getting potty trained however frustrated you may get with their poopy habits.
So if you think you and your child are ready for the big-boy potty, here are some tips and signs to know how to start:
Familiarizing with the Potty
For some toddlers, the toilet seems like a scary monster – with its big “mouth” and the loud flushing noise, it is understandable if your child is terrified of it, so it is best to introduce the potty as early as 1 year old. You can buy children’s books about the topic so your kid can somehow familiarize himself with the toilet and see it in a friendly way, or you can include it in your make-believe games.
If you are playing with them and you need to take a leak, you can tell them that you need to go to the potty so they can learn early on that going to the bathroom for number 1 or number 2 is a natural thing that everyone does.
Signs that They Are Ready
When will you know that your child is ready for the potty? Your child will show signs that he/she is ready, like what other parents will say, it will come off naturally. When your child has stopped wetting her/himself during bedtime and when he has dry undies for at least two hours on day time, these may mean that he/she is ready for the potty.
Also, if your kid has been showing discomfort whenever he pees on his diaper, like his facial expression, or if he always pulls his diaper, then potty training must commence.
Before starting, you could buy your kid a potty chair or get a potty seat that can be placed over a toilet to prevent her from falling in or as some parents suggest, just use a stepping stool and avoid the potty seat to make them feel comfortable with the process early on. To start the training, give your child some instructions about how to use the toilet the correct way. For example, they should know that you or any other adult in the house must come with them in case they need help with number 2.
You must remind your little one to remove or pull down their clothes before going, how to sit properly on the seat, or what to do after finishing their business.
Of course, potty training is a long process, so if you think it is making him anxious or he always cries whenever he goes to the comfort room, then you can go back to the diapers and just try again in a few weeks’ time. If you force him to go to the bathroom, he might get frustrated or become stressed whenever he wants to pee, which may lead to complications in the future.
Be Calm During Accidents
With kids, especially toddlers, mishaps are always bound to happen, especially during potty training where accidents are messy and hard to clean up. Nevertheless, you need to be prepared with anything and to keep your patience long.
As a parent, you should know that making your kid feel bad whenever an oopsie happens will only make things worse. Talk to your child calmly and address the situation by discussing what both of you should do next. Do not ever let your kid see you being irritated or disappointed because he might get pressured in getting potty trained or became afraid of going to the loo.
Potty training may not be always filled with tears and whining, you could make it fun by making a reward system for your child, like giving them a star on their playroom board whenever they have no accidents or they sit properly on the toilet, or maybe a simple tiny celebration to make them feel happy after going to the loo.
You can also give them a book or a toy while waiting for them to pee or poop so that they will find this activity fun, too. After a while, your child will no longer need stars or treats as rewards and going to the potty will be a natural thing for them.