Potty training is a major step for both kids and parents. What most parents forget is that potty training is a process that requires patience and lots of it. For some parents it's more patience than they had anticipated but its journey that counts. The important element about assessing when to start potty training is getting it right with time. Potty training requires emotional and physical readiness. There isn't a specific age, however, a number of parents start training their kids at the age of 2 years or 2 and in some cases above 2 years. What most parents miss is that there's no rush; starting too early isn't a good idea as this might take your child longer to train.
Is your child ready? Ask the following questions?
- Does your child seem interested in the potty chair or toilet, or in wearing underwear?
- Can your child understand and follow basic directions?
- Does your child tell you through words, facial expressions or posture when they need to go?
- Does your child stay dry for long periods of time or longer during the day?
- Does your child complain about wet or dirty diapers?
- Can your child pull down his or her pants and pull them up again?
- Can your child sit on and rise from a potty chair?
If you answered yes to half of these questions, then your child might be ready for potty training. However, if you answered no to most of the questions, you might consider waiting for a while. The same rule applies to children facing new change, children need time to adjust to change hence they can't handle too many changes in a short period of time.
How to toilet train your child?
- Establishing when to start scheduling potty breaks is very important. One way of knowing is to leave your child on the potty chair or toilet without a diaper for a few minutes; this should be done several times a day. Give your child a toy to use while sitting on the potty chair or toilet and make sure you stay with your child when they are in the bathroom. This gives them self confidence knowing that your there to support this big change in their lives.
- Make sure you pay attention to toilet breaks; some kids express themselves when in need of the toilet. Some kids squirm, squat or hold their genital area as a way of letting you know that they need to go – respond quickly. Make sure that your toilet is potty friendly for your child. It's wise to invest in toilet training seats, these seats make it comfortable for children when using the toilet, products such as 'Baby U Cushie Tushie Padded Toilet Seat' and 'Baby U Cushie Step Up Toilet Trainer'. If you started your potty training during a holiday, it's wise to invest in a portable travel potty seat such as a 'Baby U Cushie Traveler Folding Padded Potty Seat'.
- After weeks of potty breaks and training, it's wise to ditch the diapers for training pants or regular underwear. Spoil your child and go shopping for “big underwear”. Also, throw in an incentive such as stars or sweets. Always be positive and encourage your child, it might take long but it's a worthwhile journey.