Potty training your child is an important milestone every parent looks forward to. It is a step towards independence and marks the end of long nappy days. However, potty training can be daunting for parents, especially if you have never done it before. This blog will cover the difference between toilet and potty training, the right age to train your child, and some tips and tricks to make the process easier.
Toilet training or potty training?
As naïve as it may sound, toilet training involves teaching your child to use the toilet, and potty training implies teaching your child to use a potty. Potty training is often the first step toward toilet training. It is usually introduced when the child is about two to three years old. However, every child is different. Some may start potty training early, while a few may learn later. It is not a race and should not be treated as one. You can initiate toilet or potty training, depending on what you feel comfortable with. Some children may find it easier to use a potty first, while others may prefer a toilet.
When shall I start potty training my child?
Most children are ready to start potty training between the ages of two and three. However, every child is different, and you should look for signs that your child is ready before starting. Signs that your child is ready to start potty training include:
- They can follow simple instructions from an adult.
- They are aware when they have got a wet nappy.
- They might tell you they are weeing or pooping while doing it.
- When they know when they need to pee in advance, and may tell you about it.
- When the gap between their nappy wetting is at least an hour. If lesser than an hour, avoid it at this stage and try potty training them again later. As it will help your little one learn better.
When you decide to start potty training your child, it is essential to create a routine and stick to it. Here is a timeline and some tips to help make the process easier:
- Start by introducing your child to the potty or toilet. Let them sit on it fully clothed and get used to the idea. Do not rush them or force them to use it. It would be nice if you could creatively introduce the potty as a fun activity they do.
- Once you have introduced the potty to your child, demonstrate how to use the potty or the toilet. To help them learn, you can use a doll or stuffed animal to show your child how to correctly sit, pee, and poop inside the pot.
- It would be ideal to initially teach the child by letting them use the potty with their nappy on – until they know how to correctly sit and use it. Once they are accustomed to it, let your child sit on the potty or toilet without a nappy and practice using it.
- Make it a routine and set specific times in the day for your child to use the potty or toilet. To help your child establish a schedule, set specific times to use the potty, regardless of whether they need to wee or poop. This could be after meals, before bedtime, and when they wake up. This will subconsciously help them realise that using the potty means it is time to wee or poop.
- Potty training takes time and patience. Do not get discouraged if your child has accidents or does not use the potty or toilet correctly. It is a whole new concept to them, and they are learning.
Things parents should remember when potty training their kids
Potty training can be stressful. Here are some things to keep in mind to make the process smoother:
- Potty training should be a positive experience. Do not pressure your child or make them feel bad if they have accidents. You are trying your best to teach them. However, they are also trying their best to learn.
- Praise your child and use positive reinforcement when they use the potty or toilet. Rewards are a great incentive to appreciate and encourage little humans to do the right thing. Use stickers or small treats (like more playtime, favourite candy, a few extra minutes at the park or on Telly, etc.) to reward them for their efforts.
- Accidents are a normal part of potty training, and one must be ready for them. Keep a change of clothes and some wipes handy for accidents. Avoid raising your voice at them when they have an accident. It is only natural and part of a slow learning process. Remember, your little one is trying their best.
- Consistency is crucial when it comes to potty training. Take the potty with you when you are outside for many days or when they go to their daycare. Using the potty regularly, even at different locations, will help them understand and not confuse them. Lastly, stick to your routine and be understanding.
Potty training is an achievement for both parents and children. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this blog, as a parent, you can make the process smoother and less stressful for yourself and your kids. Remember: every child is different, and potty training takes time and patience. With the right approach and a positive outlook, your child will use the potty or toilet in no time.