January 23, 2018

Helpful Hints in Potty-Training Toddlers

You may be ready to ditch diapers long before your child is. Potty training requires both physical and emotional preparedness for everyone involved. Starting potty training too early only prolongs the process. A toddler is physically ready for potty training when he or she can control bladder muscles and bowel movements. Indications that your child is physically ready for potty training include having bowel movements at similar times each day, and reduced bowel movements during the night. You child also must be physically able to remove clothing, climb and communicate their desire to go. Talking children are the easiest to potty train, but those that sign may also be ready to learn.

Emotional preparedness may take a bit longer for your child than physical preparedness. He or she must show interest in using the toilet and have a cooperative attitude. Children whose immediate response impulse is “no” may be difficult to potty train. As your child approaches two years in age, begin including potty training verbiage into your discussions, books and television programs. Listen for your child to begin using terms like “big girl” or “big boy” or talking about wearing underpants. Children may begin to use a potty training seat as a chair, or playing with it as a toy. It is normal for young boys to take longer to show interest in potty training than it takes young girls, and the same holds true for mastering the skill.

When both you and your child are ready to begin toilet training, remember to keep reasonable expectations. Your child may quickly catch on to using the potty, but accidents are common. There may be false starts, set backs and failed methods to work around. Be sure to have a plan B, a plan C and perhaps even a plan D. What works for one child may not always be successful with others. Expensive potty training accessories and gimmicks come with no guarantee. Instead, save money you might spend on these items to purchase underwear with your child’s favorite cartoon characters printed on them. These are an excellent motivator for kids.

Scheduled potty breaks are essential in the beginning stages of toilet training. You can avoid accidents by taking your child to the restroom every 60 to 90 minutes, but be prepared to rush to the bathroom at any moment. Many children do not want “going potty” to interrupt their playtime. They may hold their hands over their bottom or genital area while continuing their normal activities. It is important to seize these opportunities. Explain to your child that the feelings that prompt him to cover himself are an alert to stop what he is doing to relieve himself in the toilet. Some parents find that children are less likely to ignore restroom urges when they are completely naked. If weather — and the flooring in your living space — permits, consider removing your child’s clothes to allow him to feel his body preparing to evacuate waste.

Incentives for successful bathroom trips encourage early potty training by motivating children. A clear plastic cotton ball holder placed on the back of the toilet can hold treats such as miniature marshmallows, jellybeans or M&Ms. Offer one treat for urine and two for bowel movements. A great suggestion is to buy jellybeans and M&Ms in only yellow and brown to reward specific functions appropriately.

The author of this post is Holly Miller, a writer for Coupon Croc, the best place to find Mamas & Papas discount vouchers to save on everything your baby needs.

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are parents of children with special challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this website have worked for us on our parenting journey.

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