As your child transitions from baby to toddler, there is one stage that many parents fear the most - Potty Training. The transition from diaper to underwear may be a little messy at first, but it’s a big step to helping your child become more independent. Some children may take their time with potty training. Others can often master the technique in just three days.
The first thing to look for is to make sure your child is truly ready for potty training. Some signs that suggest they are ready include pulling at a dirty diaper, hiding when they have to go in their diaper, imitating other adult’s bathroom behavior, waking up dry from naps, and announcing that they have to go.
These all signal how ready your child is. You know your child and their signs better than anyone else, and you can likely tell if it’s time.
Once you decide it’s time, choose the method that works for you. Some children need time to get it right. Others can tackle potty training in just three days.
The three-day potty-training method is simpler than it sounds.
Before you begin, let your child know in advance that something is happening. Don’t surprise them. Let them know that pretty soon the diapers will be gone, and they’ll have underwear
Also try getting your child excited about potty training. Go on a shopping trip with them and pick up a small potty (or a simple toilet seat cover). Visit the underwear aisle as well. Choose a pack that has some of their favorite characters, so that they will be even more excited.
When you’re picking a time to do this, choose a three-day period where you and your child can stay in the house for all three days. Staying is much easier than going out where a bathroom may not be in sight
3 Day Routine
On day one, right when your child wakes up, make a show of changing them out of their diaper and putting on underwear. Once you do, also consider going pants less. When it’s time to go, it’s one less obstacle in your child’s way and it reinforces that there isn’t a diaper anymore and it will make them more likely to point out when they need to go. Be sure to explain to them that they no longer have a diaper to catch everything.
At breakfast, make sure they have plenty of fluids in order to give them more opportunities. Continue this throughout the day. Make sure there is a sippy cup well within their reach filled with water or juice.
Set a timer for either 15 or 20 minutes at a time and have them go every time it goes off. Making the timer audible, possibly with a song they like or with a fun sound. In addition to this, every time you transition from one activity to another, have them use the bathroom then. This includes before and after naps and bedtime, around mealtime, and any play activities. This helps your child make a routine.
For day 2 and three, it’s roughly the same routine. During these three days, it’s important to note that your child will have accidents, especially at first. Your reaction is crucial to their success.
Getting angry at them and shouting won’t help them get better. In fact, it may make them worse by making them scared to keep trying. As hard as it may be, simply keep your tone neutral and simply acknowledge what happened. Having them help you clean it up will also enforce that this isn’t where they are supposed to go to the bathroom.
After these three days have passed, your child will mostly have the hang of it. Continuing to enforce the idea in their minds will be necessary.
Think of your word choice. If you simply tell your child something along the lines of “Tell me when you need to go” or something along those lines leave plenty of room for interpretation and keeps the issue closed. Furthermore, if your child isn’t 100% comfortable with everything, they may wait until it’s too late. Directly asking your child if they have to go at certain intervals throughout the day, on the other hand, keeps the issue open. It gives them a simple yes or no option that is easy for a toddler to identify with and answer.
You can use these days to completely train your child for day and night, or you can do it in stages and let them get a hang of going during the day first. Many parents find that stages help their child and don’t overwhelm them.
During the three days, and as time goes on, think about what motivates your child. Do they respond to rewards or incentives? If so, then set up a reward system. These rewards don’t have to be very big. Some simple’s ideas include a cookie or other small treat, something small from the dollar store, or even just a penny. To further hap your child’s progress, you can use a sticker chart to keep track. You can also use this to set specific milestones for rewards, that way, not every bathroom break requires a reward.
A huge part of this will also be to get other family members involved both during and after the three-day period. This will start by providing you a much-needed break. In addition to that, this will also show your child that you aren’t the only person who expects them to use the bathroom and that this trend will be carried through no matter where they go and who they are with.
Finally, have a conversation with your daycare provider about you’re doing and the techniques and terminology you’re using so that they can continue outside of the home and away from family.
What is the average age for a child to be potty trained?
It’s hard to say that there’s an average age for potty training because each child is so different. Technically, the average is 27 months, but it varies. Generally, a child isn’t ready before the age of 2. In fact, they might be three before they are truly ready.
What are some signs that the child is not ready for potty training?
Some the signs of them being unready include, not caring about a dirty diaper, being afraid of the potty, showing little interest in the potty, being unable to stay dry, and being unable to sit still. If your toddler is showing any of these signs, they probably aren’t ready just yet.
What are the main signs that your child IS ready to potty train?
In reverse, some signs that show a child is ready include being upset about a dirty diaper, hiding when they have to go to the bathroom, announcing that they have to go to the bathroom, and staying dry during naps and bedtime.
What is the normal age for potty training?
That depends on the child and their mentality. Some kids are ready as early as 18 months (this is super rare) and some are as late as 3 before they are ready. Don’t rush your child. If you’re worried about it, maybe have a conversation with them and see how they feel about it.
Tips for potty training boys
Boys are a bit different than girls in this regard. They may take slightly longer to get the hang of it. Experts recommend first training him to pee sitting down, and then move to standing up. To help him aim, they also recommend throwing in cheerios or another circle cereal to use as target practice.
When is a child considered potty trained?
A child is considered fully potty trained generally when they can hold it for two hours without any accidents.
Potty training is both exciting and scary. You may not look forward to the messes but when your child is potty trained, you won’t have to worry about diapers anymore. Be patient with your child and be sure to encourage them as they go through this milestone.
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