How To Potty Train Your Child

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The main reason for potty training not going as smoothly as it could or for having to stop and then start over again at a later time, is starting the training before the child is actually ready and able to. You should keep in mind that every child is different and will show signs he or she is ready at different ages. The average age for a toddler to begin showing signs of being ready for potty training is between 2 and 2 1/2 years old. Some children will show signs as early as 18 months and others not until there around 3 years old. On average the potty training process can take any where from a few weeks on up to 2 to 3 months. It can take months to several years before a child is able to stay dry through the night when sleeping. Most girls and more than 75% of boys will be able to stay dry all night by the time their 5 years of age.

Be sure the time you begin potty training your child, you have a good amount of time to spend one-on-one with your toddler. Its not recommended to start training when your family may be experiencing major life changes or events such as a divorce, a job change, moving to a new home or to a new state and other high stress circumstances where the family home routine is disrupted. Signs to watch for indicating your child may be ready to begin potty training are:stays dry for several hours, wakes up dry, knows when he or she needs to go to the bathroom, understands the association with having to go to the bathroom and the toilet, lets you know when their diaper is wet or soiled, doesn’t like a wet or soiled diaper on and tries to remove it himself, is able to follow simple directions, wants to do things him or herself, enjoys washing their hands, and gets upset when their belongings are not in the proper place.

There are a number of potty training tools available today which can be quite helpful especially if the child is experiencing difficulty in a certain area. A popular item many parents find useful are the “potty targets”. These are designed for girls and boys to use. They are usually shaped like a bulls-eye, flower or other kid-friendly designs. Targets are placed in the toilet and used for the child to aim at when using the toilet. These are made in such a way that they will not harm the plumbing and are flushable. Not only does this help the little ones who have difficulty their aim but children find them interesting and fun at the same time. There are a number of excellent potty training books available written for the potty-training age child as well as books written for parents. The books are can be read with the child before ever beginning potty training to spark their interest in learning as well as reading when sitting on their potty chair or toilet. There are steps that can be purchased for the purpose of assisting your child with getting up on the toilet with ease should your child have difficulty in doing so. Also available is a step/toilet combo which sits over the toilet seat and has a smaller seat opening and easier for the child to manage. Of course there is the potty chair with numerous varieties on the market through-out the day of when he or she should try to use the toilet and special potty belts to replace a regular belt a child would wear with a pair if pants or shorts. The potty belt fastens with velcro instead of the standard belt buckle which can take little hands quite a bit of time to get undone to make it to the potty in time. This works well for children who are in daycare and aren’t able to find someone available right away to help with their regular belt. It also gives them a sense of independence of being able to complete the process from start to finish on their own. As soon as your child is not wearing a diaper during the night, its a good idea to invest in a good water-proof mattress pad in case of night-time accidents. Training pants are a must for any child. There are training pants available today that are unnoticeable when worn. For the child who enjoys using a lot of toilet tissue, try squashing the toilet paper roll after placing it on the holder. This makes it a little more difficult to pull as much paper from the roll.

Teaching proper hygeine is very important. If started early, good hygeine practice will become automatic and part of their everyday routine. Washing hands can’t be stressed enough and should be taught early on, preferably before ever beginning potty training. Show your child the correct way to wash their hands effectively. Teach little girls to wipe from front to back to avoid bladder infections or other possible infections from bacteria and germs.

Remember not to become overwhelmed or impatient during the process. Remain positive and offer a lot of positive reinforcement. Try out some of the potty training tools available. Get a book or two about potty training written specifically for parents and read up on the subject long before the time comes to begin potty training your toddler. At the same time give your child a book about potty training soon before you feel the time is right to begin. Have your little one mark on his or her calendar or chalk board the date the two of you have decided on to start. Keep in mind your child will succeed at potty training, some sooner or later than others, but before you know it they will be grown and potty-training their own child.

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