Do you know that from the age potty training is introduced to the various methods used, they are different across cultures over the world?
What can you read in this article?
- How to potty train a toddler: A father shares his story
Certain factors such as access to certain resources and climate conditions can influence how we toilet train our kids. That being said, there are no definite guidelines on how to potty train a baby — but there are techniques that actually work.
How to potty train a baby. (Picture: ToddMorris)
How to potty train a toddler: A father shares his story
A father shared that he struggled to potty train his son for two years until they lived in China. There, he enrolled his two-year-old son in a local daycare.
Being in diapers at two years old, they appeared as “barbarians” to the women at the daycare. “Even the kids who were too young to talk could tug on a woman’s dress to let her know they had to go potty,” said the dad.
But the daycare workers knew just what to do with this dad’s boy. Using the “elimination communication” method, the Chinese daycare managed to have his boy peeing in a toilet in just one week.
“Elimination communication” basically means the same as infant potty training. “It is the practice of introducing your baby to the toilet or potty at a very early age – usually between birth and 4 months,” explains Dr Sarah Buckley in her blog.
Some parents who use this method either go all diaper-free by rushing their little tots to the toilet (after monitoring for cues). Or, they use diapers from time to time, but just not at the frequency we are used to.
The basic rule of “elimination communication” is watching for signs that your baby needs to poo or peep. For example, Dr. Buckley explains with her own baby, one of the cues that she wanted to poop was that she would wriggle about a bit and look uncomfortable. Or fart. But the only reason she was able to tune into these cues was that she avoided dressing her baby in a diaper.
By 14 months old, Dr. Buckley’s baby was completely out of diapers.
But going back to the way parents in China do it… it’s slightly different. For Chinese potty training, babies are often dressed in “crotchless pants”. In otherwise, special pants with big, gaping holes right in the place one would expect any “self-respecting article of clothing to cover-up”.
The dad explains that while you might think this is unsanitary and disgusting, the Chinese potty training method really does work. In essence, it is just a cultural variation of the “elimination communication method”.
How to potty train a baby: Children on the street with their pants slit at the bottom. In a different culture, it will surely send heads turning. (Picture: Wikimedia Commons)
How to potty train a toddler: Other Aspects to Potty Training With “elimination communication”
When they are too young to express themselves, your role is to look out for those “little hints”. Look for facial expressions and twitches.
The point is to get the baby used to the idea that this is where they’re supposed to go to the bathroom. Some parents make a “pssss” sound while holding baby over the potty, others open the tap.
Tips: Elimination Communication method
If you’re not ready to let your child walk around in crotchless pants just yet, don’t worry.
With the elimination communication method, you can apparently start potty training your baby even by just a few months old. Basically, as soon as he or she is strong enough to hold his head up and upper body rigid. And that’s right — you can do without the crotchless pants!
- Try letting them go naked. Yes, you can expect a few accidents, but eventually (and without the blockage of a diaper), you will know when your baby has to go.
- When your child uses the potty correctly, praise them as this will help to reinforce the behavior. But don’t go overboard. In the case of an accident, he may feel deflated. Instead, let him know that accidents happen.
- Make a two-syllable straining sound like “uh-uh”, with emphasis on the second “uh” (to encourage their bowel movement)
- If your baby poops into the potty, send loads of positive reinforcements
- Try training your baby to pee in the toilet when he first wakes up and his bladder is full
- The best time to train the baby to poop is after he eats (when his stomach is full and his intestines have been working)
How to potty train a baby?
Early potty training 1-year-old: How do you know he’s ready
People have different viewpoints on the best age to potty train a child. Lora Jensen, in her book called “3 Day Potty Training”, claims that 22 months is the ideal age for your toddler to start potty training.
While Julie Fellom, a San Francisco-based preschool teacher and creator of the Diaper Free Toddlers program says that 22 to 26 months is the excellent age for potty training. She says that most toddlers will start to show symptoms of readiness between 16 and 26 months.
Sally Neuberger, a potty coach, and licensed clinical social worker take a somewhat unique approach. She claims there are two stages of potty readiness: the first occurs around the age of two when the child communicates interest in the potty and may even begin to use it, and the second occurs around the age of three when she claims they are developmentally ready and can be potty trained painlessly in three days.
The Ultimate Guide to Potty Training
Potty training: Do boys take longer to potty train than girls?
One mom shares how she potty-trained her son in 3 easy steps
So, how can you tell if your toddler is ready to be potty trained? Check out these signs and you’ll know that he/she’s ready:
- She stays dry for two or more hours and has changed in fewer diapers.
- He starts to have predictable bowel movements. There has already been a pattern – in the morning, after meals, before bed, etc.
- She understands and communicates potty language. She may say words such as “pee” and “poop, or even phrases like “pooping now”.
- He may also tell you through body language and facial expression. A grunt or a gesture to his tummy or but can be a sign.
- She knows how to pull up and down her pants.
- He is able to sit up on his own.
- She hates dirty diapers. If she gets easily irritated with soiled nappies, this is the best time to go. She would definitely feel better once she learns how to go to the potty.
- He shows interest in going to the bathroom. A typical sign is following or watching you or a family member go to the bathroom to pee or poop. He might also start to ask questions.
What you need to potty train your toddler
A potty or a toilet
Depending on your baby’s preference, you can buy her a potty while she’s still easing in. You can also go straight to training her in using the toilet – or that which everybody else uses.
- A footstool and a smaller seat
If your child is using the toilet, make sure to provide her with a footstool so she can rest her feet while sitting; and a smaller seat that fits securely in the bigger one.
How to potty train in 3 days, is it possible?
What you’ll need:
- Potty Chair
- Lots of food and drinks
- Before you begin, make sure you’ve had your coffee, showered, checked your email, and done everything else you need to do. Then put your phone away so you can focus.
- Change your child’s diaper as soon as he or she wakes up. Allow your child to go bare-bottomed for at least the first day. Your child will be more likely to identify the need to use the restroom if he or she is not wearing a diaper or underwear.
- Give your child a large glass of water, juice, or milk to encourage regular peeing. Keep a sippy cup within reach of your youngster at all times.
- Throughout the day, keep a close eye on him or her for signals that he or she is ready to pee or poop.
- When you notice a sign, quickly take your child to the bathroom. Let them know that they have to go every 20 minutes. You may even set a timer so they’d understand that when the alarm goes off, it’s time to try to use the toilet again.
- Don’t forget to teach them that they have to flush the toilet, wipe the seat, and wash their hands!
- Encourage your child to use the restroom before snack or lunch, and before and after nap, and before bedtime. This will soon become a regular routine for them.
- If they don’t want to go to the bathroom, try using rewards or emotional cues as motivation. You can say, “I’ll let you watch TV if you go pee in the toilet first”, or “You peed in the toilet, where it should be! That’s great progress!”
How to potty train a baby? | Image from iStock
Day 2 and 3
- Just repeat the first day’s process for day 2 and 3.
- On these days, some choose to stay indoors while others go out for a bit of activities. When you do decide to go outside, remember to bring a small potty with you in case there’s no restroom nearby or when your child doesn’t want to go on a public bathroom.
- Don’t worry about accidents because they are normal. Just treat it as it is, clean up, and remind your baby that peeing and pooping should be in the potty or in the toilet.
How to potty train a toddler: Signs that your baby needs the toilet
Look out for signs such as your baby who stops eating or playing, as though he is concentrating on something. His face may turn red; he may make straining sounds or he might fart. Ideal to whisk him to the toilet then.
If your baby is about to experience a bowel movement or during diaper change, take them to the toilet to allow them to get used to the routine.
There might also be other signs that your baby exhibits and other babies don’t. No worries because you’ll definitely learn this from your baby as he or she grows old. Just observe and notice the patterns and the signs.
Signs your child is not ready for potty training
Signs are basically the opposite of how you determine they’re ready for potty training. But here’s a quick rundown!
- Dirty diapers don’t bother them.
- You still change wet diapers a lot.
- They don’t show the slightest bit of interest and curiosity about the bathroom.
- They can’t sit on their own yet.
- They don’t know how to pull up or down their pants.
Above all, you’re the one who knows your baby best! Observe and notice the signs and encourage him/her into progress. Good luck with the potty training and say goodbye to soiled nappies the soonest!
Additional information from Margaux Dolores
Fatherly, Nacd, Parents, What to Expect, Raising Children, The Bump, Very Well Family, Romper