The Ultimate Guide to Potty Training
Potty training is perhaps the most awaited milestone in a child’s development – and not without reason. A potty-trained child allows you the freedom of not having to constantly change diapers or even worry about the depleting stock at home. However, having said that, how many parents actually look forward to potty-training their child? Though most parents anticipate this milestone, we also view it as the most rebellious period in a toddler’s life.
Parents will encounter a lot of problems in the course of potty training their child. “Accidents” still may happen and make us feel like we have failed. My three-year-old has a sound advice for impatient me, which can apply to other parents: “Have patience mama. It’s a virtue and will help you achieve anything, even teaching me to use the potty.”
Here is our ultimate guide on potty training your child.
Assess your child’s readiness
Assessing your child’s readiness before starting any potty training efforts is a very important step that many parents skip. They make the mistake of pushing their child too early, only to encounter severe resistance. Believe me, toddlers can be stubborn and you need to cajole them into accepting this new routine. No amount of anger or frustration will help get them to use their potty. The age for potty training also differs from child to child and is not an indicator of readiness.
Let your child choose his own potty
If possible, have your child select his own potty. This might sound silly, but some toddlers are very specific about the kind of potty they want to use. I remember a niece of mine who only wanted to pee in a pink potty. They were travelling at that time and my sister forgot to bring their potty. No amount of coaxing could make my niece use the new non-pink potty that her mom bought. She only ditched her diapers when they finally bought a potty similar to the one she had at home.
Make your child comfortable with the potty
Place the potty beside the toilet in your bathroom. If your child has been watching you use the toilet, then he will already have an idea on how to use the potty. Let him play at first and sit on it fully clothed if he wants to. You can slowly progress to having him sit on it without any diaper on. Ideally, this should be done at a time when he usually poops or pees. Do no force him if he does not want to use the potty.
Get some training pants
Expect your child to have some relapses, so having some training pants is a good idea. If there are any accidents, it is important that you handle it calmly and not make an issue out of it. Remember that you and your child should never have a power struggle over potty training, as this will only make him rebel against it.
Remember that day and night training, as well as peeing and pooping, do not happen at the same time
Take it slowly. Don’t expect that your child will be able to master his bladder and bowel movements simultaneously. Some kids learn how to control their pooping a full year before they learn to regulate their peeing. Day and night training also do not happen at the same time. Your child might wear a diaper at night for years even when he no longer needs it during the day.
Potty training, while not a walk in the park, is a milestone that all parents must prepare for. Not only will your child become independent, but you will regain a bit of your own freedom, too.
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