Phasing out diapers and introducing the potty chair is a huge milestone, but is your child ready? Potty training is, to a great extent, based on the readiness of the child.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Does your child follow basic directions?
2. Does your child seem interested in the toilet or underwear?
3. Does your child stay dry for long periods of time (2 hours)?
4. Can your child dress and undress themselves?
5. Can your child sit and rise from a potty chair?
6. Does your child complain from a wet or dirty diaper?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then it may be the right time for you to begin the process. If you answered no to most of the questions, you might want to hold off on potty training. It is completely normal if your child is not ready, wait a few months and repeat the questions.
If you are ready to begin, follow these tips for a successful potty training:
1. Glamorize the potty chair.
Let your child know that the potty chair is their own toy. Bring your child to the store and have him or her pick out the potty chair of their choice. Decorate the potty chair together with bright colors, stickers, etc.
2. Get to know the chair.
Before starting the process of potty training, let your child become comfortable with the potty chair. Place the chair in the room your child spends the most time in. Encourage your child to touch, lift, and sit-on the potty chair. Your child needs to be comfortable sitting on and getting up from the chair, and this can be done with or without being dressed. His or her feet should be placed firmly on the floor during this time.
3. Potty’s purpose.
Communicating the purpose of the potty is crucial. You can show the function of the potty chair in different ways. For example, you can put a dirty diaper or the stool of the diaper inside the chair or a family member can imitate the potty process on the toilet.
4. Celebrate everything.
Encouragement is critical during potty training. Praise your child for every gain they make whether it is just touching the potty or using it properly. If a child regresses in the process, stay positive and understanding. It is normal for a child to feel pressure or anxiety when using the potty.
5. Ditching the diapers
Celebrate this huge accomplishment! If the child feels ready to get rid of the diapers encourage him or her to pick out their own “grown-up” underwear.
If your child is not adjusting well to the potty, give it a rest! Come back to it in a few months when the child seems more ready. Keep calm and get your potty on!
Mayo Clinic Staff. "Infant and Toddler Health." Weblog post. Potty Training: How to Get the Job Done. Mayo Clinic, 15 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 June 2015.
Stadtler, Ann C., Peter A. Gorski, and Berry Brazelton. "Toilet Training Methods, Clinical Interventions, and Recommendations." Toilet Training Methods, Clinical Interventions, and Recommendations. Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, n.d. Web. 11 June 2015.