Meeting the Challenges of Potty Training
Potty training is best achieved when the least amount of stress is present. It is wise not to plan training during any big life events such as a move, major holidays, relationship change or stress, etc.
Be sure to have big girl or big boy pants ready and available and already have decided between a potty chair and potty seat. (A potty seat is the child-size toilet seat that attaches to your current toilet seat. A potty chair is a freestanding child-size “toilet”.) And lastly have fortitude and patience.
The ideal time to start this new routine and try out these methods are when you have several days at home to dedicate to potty training you child. Praise and enthusiasm for your child’s attempts and successes are great encouragement; along with incentives of perhaps a special treat or reward. As young as your child may be, preparing with them ahead of time and do your best to explain this will start things off in a positive directions with hopefully a timely positive outcome. Choosing the seat or chair together, can be another big plus!
Before children can use the toilet, they must be able to control their bowel and bladder muscles. Children should also be able to talk, climb, and should have mastered other basic motor skills before they can use the toilet completely by themselves.
For girls it is ideal to wait till she is at least 22 weeks of age before you try successful potty training. This is based on the development and strength of her bowel muscles. For boys, they may be ready at 18 months. Even though they may be ready earlier than girls, they tend to stay in diapers a few months longer than girls typically.
A child is considered potty-trained when they know that it is time to go to the bathroom and are able to use the toilet with little help. The average time this takes is 3 months. Children may adapt to staying dry during naps and take a bit long for night-time training. Just be sure to purchase a wipe-clean mattress cover in case of accidents.
The onset of potty training should begin by simply lifting your child on to the potty each morning and especially after a nap. Praise their success and don’t dwell on mishaps or express disappointment and definitely don’t get discouraged! There are some parents that adopt to remove any diapers and keep their child in underwear from the beginning. A few questions to ask yourself ahead of time in preparation:
- Does your child express an interest or is curious about a potty chair or toilet, or in wearing underwear?
- Does your child complain about wet or dirty diapers?
- Does your child stay dry for extended periods of the day?
- How well can your child understand and follow basic directions?
- Does your child express through words, facial expressions or posture when he or she needs to go to the bathroom?
- Is your child able to pull down his or her pants and pull them up again?
The potty training process can have its share of setbacks. There may be a period accidents or lack of progress. If this is your first time, keep in mind that it is a learning curve for both you and your child. Despite how many articles you read or tips you receive, you may not have it perfect right out of the gate, so be relaxed as you can about it.
Children may adapt to staying dry during naps and take a bit long for night-time training. Just be sure to purchase a wipe-clean mattress cover in case of accidents.
Make it a Positive Process.
Remember each child is different and all circumstances vary. Toilet training can become an arduous process if you try to start it before your child is ready. So monitor your child and choose the best circumstance to start the process to ensure the most likelihood of success.