Are you counting down the days to the toilet transition? Or maybe you've already dabbled in a few less-than-successful attempts? Either way, your kid has to be good and ready for toilet training to stick. And don't worry, they will be someday.
"No child is going to graduate high school in diapers," says Carol Stevenson, a mom of three from Stevenson Ranch, California, who trained each one at a different age. "But it's so easy to get hung up and worried that your child's a certain age and not there yet, which adds so much pressure and turns it into a battle."
Once you're convinced your kid's ready to ditch the diapers (watch for signs like showing an interest in the bathroom, telling you when they have to go, or wanting to be changed promptly after pooping), try any of these tricks from experts and parents to make it easier.
Moms want to find reliable advice to help their kids stay clean and build confidence through successful potty training. I’m here to suggest 10 potty training tips that will make this process faster, smoother, and more enjoyable for you and your family.
1. Start potty training at the right time
The first question that most people ask when considering when to start potty training is: “is my child going to give me signals that they are ready?” While there are recommendations on the correct age to start potty training and plenty of resources to go for more information, the best place to start might be a potty training readiness quiz. This will let you exactly where things stand and provide a few reasons to hold off on potty training.
2. Timing for Potty Training
Don't get frustrated if things are taking a long time. Potty training can take roughly a year, according to a study from the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. "The two big surprises are that toilet-teaching isn't fast and it isn't smooth," says Dr Maureen O'Brien, Ph.D., director of parenting and child development
3. Don't offer a diaper for poop
Sometimes, an otherwise potty-trained child will request a diaper when it's time for No. 2. Try not to give in, Glowacki says. "It's a habit. A child who can request a diaper is aware of the feeling. They want the conditions to be right for them. They have some fear and anxiety and they don't know what to do. You need to work through that."
4. Use potty training games and tools
Many experienced moms will tell you about implementing many reward ideas such as certificates, sticker charts, or prizes. You may also want to use the technology that’s available to us these days in the form of apps and games. These Potty Training Tips and Tricks are a great start.
5. Sticking to a Routine
The key is consistency," says Jen Singer, mother of two, author of the Stop Second-Guessing Yourself parenting series, and a member of the Huggies Pull-Ups Potty Training Partners. "Whatever you do at home with your potty training plan, you also need to do elsewhere. For instance, if your child prefers to read a book while on the potty, talk to your daycare provider about sending in a favourite book. Keep in mind that daycare centres may bet HELP YOUR CHILD KNOW WHEN TO GO: An important part of your child gaining independence and becoming successful in potty training is learning to recognize the urge to go. Again, you are likely to be more successful with this if you know your child and tips for each type of trainer busy to customize potty training to each child.
6. Buy big-kid underwear as a sign of encouragement
Purchase fun underwear, like ones with a favourite cartoon character or superhero graphic. Explain to your child that once they learn how to use the potty, they can wear this fun big kid underwear. You can also let them wear this underwear as a treat while potty training, too. Just be prepared for some potty accidents.
7. Place the pot in a convenient spot
The bathroom is the obvious location (and putting it there may help your child make the connection that going potty happens in the bathroom), but you may also want to think about placing the potty in your child's bedroom for easy access after naps, or in the playroom.
8. Using Rewards
When it comes to potty training, don't be afraid to use a little bribery. "Two words: Mini M&M's! Promise that each time your kid goes potty, she gets two or three, but if she wipes herself (a huge challenge for us) then she gets four or five. This makes a big difference since I think one of the reasons kids don't like to go is because the business of learning to wipe is kind of yucky."
9. Praising Your Child
All the potty training tips—stickers, bribing with toys, special underpants. But you have to pick something that's consistent with your parenting style. What did work: Lots of undivided attention, positive reinforcement, love, affection and pride when my kids were successful. making a big deal about small steps of progress is key."
10. Treat night time potty training differently
Staying dry at night is definitely the second phase of potty training. This only makes sense because staying dry for a few hours is a lot easier on the bladder than staying dry for eight or more hours. You need the experience and reassurance of experts (and expert moms) to know what to reasonably expect during this time and when to worry (i.e. bed wetting vs. training).
We hope that these tips can help you and your child during potty training. Don’t lose hope if it isn’t happening as seamlessly as you’d like. With one of these techniques, or perhaps with another technique you’ve found works for you, your little one will eventually get the hang of it. Finally, it’s good to know ahead of time why accidents happen, when to take a break from potty training, and what to do if constipation becomes a problem. In the end, you’ll need a plan that just plain works.