“Yay! Time to potty train! I love toilet training” – said no mother, ever. Potty training is a daunting task. It isn’t smooth. It isn’t fast. But it’s a major milestone for kids and parents as well. All you need is to figure out the right time and be patient.
When is the Right Time to Potty Train?
There is no specific age to begin potty training kids. Look for the signs of readiness. These are-
- Your child able to grasp and follow simple instructions
- She is able to tell you she has an urge to poop or pee either by sign language or words
- She understands the connection between the urge to pass out and the potty seat
- keep her diaper dry for a couple of hours. This means her bladder can now hold.
- clutch-hold or pulled down diapers or pants
- Can use the potty seat unassisted
- Prefer to poop in the potty seat and wear pants rather than wearing diapers
- is excited to imitate adults using bathrooms and get appreciated
Potty Training Methods
The toilet training techniques are based on the age and readiness of the child. All approaches to potty train babies require patience, praise, affection, and rewards. Make sure you maintain hygiene and adhere to health and safety guidelines. Here are some methods commonly practice worldwide.
Infant Potty Training
This is commonly practiced in Asia and Africa. There, parents leave the baby genitals uncovered (mostly, not always). When the baby gives cues to eliminate, parents hold him over the toilet seat or on the open ground simply unless the baby relieved himself. Infants who are potty trained learn to hold the pee or poop unless their parents encourage them to pass by holding them by their legs and making sounds like “shussshhhh”, “shheehhee”. Although they are not completely potty trained as parents need to assist them, wash or wipe them, or dress them.
Infant potty training helps to keep diaper rashes, infections and diaper smell at bay.
Child-Oriented Potty Training
This approach encourages the child to be stress-free of pooping. keep the seat easily accessible to the child. If she feels the need to pee, make her sit on the potty. If she resists, pull back. Take a break. If the mess up accidentally clean without frowning.
Try repeatedly. Appreciate her for co-operating. Use words like “Yay” or “Ahhha” when done peeing.
Fast-Track Toilet Training
The fast-track potty training approach is designed for older toddlers. Say, 2 years or older. This includes teaching them through pretended plays and drills. If they happen to poo accidentally in their pants, they are encouraged to rush to bathrooms to correct accidents.
Kids are rewarded if they are successful in doing their business without fail.
Parent-led Potty Training
This method is gradual and gentle where parents plan long before the actual training. Make your kid choose his potty. Keep the seat where she spends most of her time. Let her play and explore the potty seat with full clothes on for a few days. Once she is accustomed to the seat, start toilet training.
Keep the child in minimal and comfortable clothes. Practice runs to eliminate. When she is ready remove the diapers and make her sit on potty seat. Make faces, play with her, sing to her, keep her engaged to about 7-10 minutes on the seat. If she does appreciate and reward with treat and toys. Don’t force if she does not pee. Let her off with encouraging words for co-operating.
Try again and repeatedly. Be patient.
Bare-Bottom Potty Training
This approach is for older kids who are 3+ years. Let them go bare bottom for a specific slot of time under your vigil. Confine the child to a specific area for a specific time naked but near to the toilet seat. Don’t ask her to sit on the potty. Let her do their chores and play like usual. When she will feel the urge to eliminate, she will do herself.
If there is an accident, clean the mess without yelling or sulking.
Potty training success balances on physical development and behavior, not age. Many kids are ready at 1 year or less. Others may take 3-4 years. Do not rush to begin early. Let your child take his time
There’s no rush. If you start too early, it might take longer to train your child. Finally, we all get potty trained someday, it’s not as significant as working on the other things like vocabulary and language.
So wait until they give those signs like,” pee, pee, pee”. You will witness all the books, methods, techniques that say learn potty training in three days but they also suggest waiting till they give you those signs. You can start potty training by buying a small potty chair that is available both online and in markets these days.
Potty Training Before Age of 18 Months
In some parts of the world, parents start potty training their children as early as four months. Parents watch for signs babies give while peeing or pooping. Some give distinct facial expressions and make specific positions to poop. At this age, most babies have their routine to void. They mostly do it after getting up from sleep in the morning or after the feed. Note this routine and try to catch it in the pot. This method is commonly known as elimination communication.
But some experts do not suggest this method as infants will make a habit to poop at a specified time and place. If you are unable to recognize the cues, they will hold on to poop or pee which can lead to severe infections. Some old methods suggest to make your child sit on to your feet while u see they are pooping with their diapers on, this will help them to train faster later on.
Potty Training at Age of 2
Two years old is easier to potty train as they are still in the phase of pleasing their parents and getting their praises. They will give you clues when there is an urge to poop. These hints can be gripping the nappy area, bending knees, squatting down, or looking for a secluded area to poop. You can encourage them by singing potty training songs and praising for putting efforts.
Potty Training at Age of 3+
At the age of three, most kids are potty trained. Few others may take a little longer up to 3.5 to 4 years of age. They may still lose control sometimes when they are sick or nervous and that’s normal. But if they experience night incidents often, you should consult the doctor. The common diagnosis is nocturnal enuresis or “bedwetting”. You can always encourage them by giving them a treat or sticker. Try to involve them with a story or anything they like. Usually, parents get frustrated if kids resist pottying or if they mess up. Don’t scold the accidents happen. Fretting over them will make things worse.
Potty Training Tips
- Praise – let your child know they are doing an amazing job!
- Reward – reward your child after they finish the job successfully. This doesn’t have to be bribing. Stickers, playtime, and outings are great
- Patience– Keep patience. Don’t lose your sanity. your patience will encourage your child to give his best.
- Consistency– ask constantly and go even when they say they don’t want to go. Chances are they do. This created pattern where they started asking to go. Be consistent even when not at home
- Routine– Make a schedule. Kids connect fast to routines. Make a practice of making her poop twice, once in the morning and once in the evening. This way she will learn, this is potty time.
- Talking – talk to them about potty training. Even when on the potty talk to them why it is important. Make it fun talk by saying things like, “ hello potty please go. I want to be a big girl/boy “.
- Comfortable Clothes – Avoid clothes that are hard to take off like jumpsuits, overalls, clothes with buttons, etc
- Privacy -give kids alone time in the potty (if they are old enough to use potty unassisted). Even if it is just to walk away for seconds. They need privacy too and soon they will be asking for it
- Environment– Keep potty essentials available. This will ensure the baby is passionate and comfortable during the whole process
- Have Fun– Make this a fun experience by including laughter, music, songs, games, play, drills, rewards, etc
Essentials for Potty Training
- Potty Chair – Potty chairs are the most preferred choice of parents when they begin to toilet train their kids. You can see potty chairs in a wide variety. Go for the color, size, design, and music as per baby’s taste. This will make the whole process a lot smoother and easier. Potty chairs are of great help when traveling.
- Potty Seat– These are cushioned seat covers that are attachable to the toilet seats. Although potty seats are suitable for older toddlers. Choose cushioned seats with handles for extra comfort.
- Step Stools– Step stools make it easier for kids to reach the washbasin and toilet pot. Step stools make kids feel independent as they don’t need an adult to help them sit on the pot. While purchasing one look for a rubber grip beneath the stool and sturdy material to avoid accidents.
- Baby Wipes – Yes, messy accidents do happen while potty training. And you need wipes for them. Stock in a lot of wipes for quick cleaning.
- Mattress Protector– Toilet training days are no-diaper days. Invest in a good mattress protector to keep your bedding dry and stain free.
When Not to Potty Train?
Sometimes even when kids start giving hints urge to poop, there are times you should say ‘Nay’ to potty training. Say, When
- You are about to have another child or you already have a new baby at home
- Relocating to a new place
- Transitioning from crib to bed.
- New Session at pre-school or daycare
- The child is unwell
- All is not well in the family
Hold off until you are settled and your child is physically and mentally ready for potty training. Else, the Potty training process may take longer than intended.
Nighttime Potty Training
Regardless of the success of the potty training at day time, your kid will likely need diapers overnight till 3-4 years of age. You can also opt for mattress protectors. It may take longer than expected for them to wake up to pee during the sleep.
But talk to the doctor if your child is bed wetting even at 6-7 years of age or having trouble in potty training after all your efforts.
When Child Refuses to Potty Train
If your kid shows signs of resistance, refuse to potty train, withhold stools – Stay put. Keep calm. Do not scold her. Don’t punish too. Start from the very basic. Support and encourage them to use toilet. Tell them the importance of making the right choices.
If the child look stubborn and frustrated. Take a break. Start afresh after a while.
Comprehending the toilet lessons is a huge boost to a kid’s self-esteem. Try any method, just be patient and warm with your baby, no matter how tough the journey is. To your child, you are the mother, the teacher, the cheerleader. She always looks up to you every time she fails or passes.