It’s an exciting time for parents when your child is finally old enough to use the toilet themselves. Your baby is growing up and taking important steps towards independence. However, potty training is easier said than done. This can also be a frustrating time for parents, particularly if their child is resistant to the idea of using the toilet. Fortunately, we have compiled this list of potty training tips from real parents who have been there so you can benefit from their experience.
The most important thing to keep in mind when you are potty training your child is to have patience. Trying to rush this process is only going to cause further delay as you stress out your child and make it difficult for them to understand what you want. When you first start potty training, you will be going to the bathroom with your child every ten minutes or so as they learn to listen to their body for the cues they need to go. Over time, you will be able to space that out more and more, and soon, your child will be able to go by themselves. There is often a delay between learning how to go number one versus how to go number two. Your child may have no problem peeing on their own, but may need more persuasion to poop by themselves. The key is to just remain patient as they learn and soon enough, they won’t need your help anymore.
Time It Right
It’s also crucial to time potty training correctly. You may be very, very tired of changing diapers and are eagerly awaiting the day you don’t have to anymore. However, that doesn’t mean that your child is ready to use the toilet. You need to wait until your kid is actually ready to be potty trained. You don’t have to worry that they will NEVER learn and will have to navigate middle school in pull ups; it will happen eventually. Don’t pressure your child or it will add stress and cause it to be more of an issue than it has to be. Look for the signs that your child is ready for toilet training, including showing curiosity about the bathroom, asking to be changed promptly, and letting you know when they need to go.
A little motivation goes a long way. Your child may not be eager to use the toilet, but chances are, they want to eat some delicious candy! Invest in a bag of mini M&Ms and use them as incentive for using the potty. Alternatively, you could place a piggy bank in the bathroom and place a penny in it any time your child uses the toilet. When they finish potty training, you could use the change to go to the arcade or some other activity your child enjoys.
Give Lots of Praise
What your child wants most from you is your undivided attention and unconditional love. Therefore, praise can be a powerful parenting tool. If you would rather not use bribery, make sure to use lots of praise and affection to motivate your child through potty training. For every little step, make sure to tell them how proud you are and congratulate them on their progress.
Identify the Fear
Some children are scared of potty training. If you are having a hard time motivating your child to try the potty, there could be an underlying issue that you don’t see here. If you find that your child has no trouble going number one, but is struggling to master number two, it might be a fear of bowel movements in general. For children who don’t understand bodily functions yet, it might seem to them that they are physically eliminating part of their bodies. Easing this fear by teaching your child about anatomy may help them to use the toilet with less anxiety.
Try a Different Location
It could be that your child is intimidated by the toilet or the training toilet if it has a lid. They may feel safer if you put a small potty seat in a room where they feel comfortable, such as the playroom. They can start by using this smaller potty, which you can slowly move closer and closer to the bathroom. Eventually, you can work them up to the potty seat right on the toilet.
Teaching your child to use the toilet can feel like the ultimate struggle, but if you are patient and consistent, it will go a lot smoother for you. Are you looking for a child care solution? At Foundations for Learning, we are happy to provide child care in Glastonbury. If you are interested in learning more about our day care, contact us today to schedule a tour!