The dreaded potty training! A subject filled with anxiety for parent and child alike. Hopefully I have some tips to potty training easier and successful.
How do you decide that the child is ready for potty training? Well its not based on what your mother in law thinks or super mom down the street. Since every child is different and grows at a different rate, each child is ready at different times. So how to tell?
The child has to first recognize the urge to go and the ability to control going — at least a little bit. So you have to look for clues. Does the child ask for a clean diaper or ask for a diaper to be put on? In my granddaughters case, she would do both.
An important consideration is the potty itself. I would avoid the kind that sit on top of the adult toilet for several reasons. The potty is easier to approach for the child if it is on their level and if they consider it “their” potty they are more likely to want to go.
So how to proceed? The trick is to catch the child in between having the urge, and actually going. Scheduling can help with this. After feeding my granddaughter her breakfast, complete with PLENTY of fluids, I would tell her to sit on her potty. At first she would whine and complain and have no success, going in her diaper as soon as I placed it on her. A combination of fluids at breakfast and a long enough time on the potty solved this.
After that first success, I praised her and made her feel that she had done something that was just outstanding , because she had and because she would be more likely to want to do it in the future. The next day, more of the same.
Repitition is the key to making this stick. Every day do the same thing. Breakfast, potty, praise. Rinse and repeat. After a short time you can add in other times, before bed is a great time and other refinements such as toilet paper handling and washing of the hands.
The most important thing to remember is not to rush things. Trying to force a child to potty train can prolong the process and lead to frustration for both child and parent.