How and When to Start Potty Training Your Toddler
One of the most gratifying things as a parent is finally potty training your toddler so that your little one is independently using the toilet and diaper-free. It’s the parental equivalent of receiving a bonus on your job! It’s also an important milestone in your child’s development.
Here’s five potty training tips that when combined with a little patient parenting will make all the difference in how to potty train your toddler.
5 Steps to success:
- S – Start at the right time
- T – Training method, find one that works for you and your child
- E – Entertaining, make it fun.
- P – Performance, the perfect seat and proper terms.
- S – Success, rewards and a sense of achievement.
Step #1 – Knowing When To Potty Train
Timing is everything. Experts recommend to start potty training between 18 months and two years of age. Children will mature at different rates. Your child could be a late developer, and potty training boys tends to take a little longer than girls.
Starting too soon can make potty training frustrating, for both of you, so look for signs of readiness. Does your child show an interest in sitting on a potty? Does your child ask questions about the toilet?
Finding the right time, according to your child’s level of maturity and readiness, can make all the difference.
Step #2 – Finding the Best Method for Potty Training
There are a number of potty training methods available, so it’s best to find one that’s suitable to your lifestyle. Purchasing the best potty training seat for your child is a good starting point. Some potty chairs sit directly on the floor and require you to clean after each use, while others sit directly on the toilet.
The bottom line is your child needs to feel comfortable and safe while sitting on the potty. One of my personal favorite potty seats sits on top of the toilet, has a step attached so toddler can climb up and sit on the toilet, and has handles to make children feel secure.
Here’s a link to check out one of my favorite potty training seats, as seen below -> Sturdy and Safe Potty Training Seat with Ladder.
Also, consider using potty training pants during the day, but be prepared for a few mishaps. Training pants are easier than taking off a diaper each time your little one may have to potty. They also allows toddlers to start learning a routine of what happens when they’re trying to use the toilet.
Just make sure you find a routine to follow at home, and let toilet time be part of you and your toddler’s daily events.
Step #3 – Make Potty Training Fun
If you want to know how to make potty training fun, just add a little laughter in the mix. You can actually make potty training time both entertaining and educational. Story books are fun to have by the potty. Some of the best potty training books for toddlers are:
“Potty” by Leslie Patricelli
“Big Girl Panties” by Fran Manushkin
“Everyone Poops” by Taro Gomi
Books are great, but so are silly songs. Try your own take on a nursery rhyme “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” could be remixed to, “This Is the Way We Make Wee or Poo!”
If you’ve got a little girl, encourage her to bring her doll or teddy bear for potty time and have a pretend potty set up for it.
For you little boy who’s mastered standing while urinating, toss some tissue shapes into the toilet and let him enjoy target practice. Although this particular habit may be a bit harder to grow out of. *Don’t ask me how I know. 🙂
Step #4 – Establish Potty Training Guidelines
Potty training should include guidelines for cleanliness and personal hygiene. If children learn how important it is to wash their hands at an early age, it will be ingrained as they become older.
Also, whenever possible let children visit the toilet with the parent of of their respective gender. Teach girls how to wipe correctly and boys how to stand and urinate. And although boys learn to potty initially by sitting down, when they’re comfortable enough to stand and urinate, encourage them to mimic daddy.
Step #5 – Use Potty Training Rewards to Encourage Success
Managing to successfully use the potty requires huge accolades and rewards. Success can be rewarded with high fives, hoorahs, or treats.
Using potty training stickers on a potty training sticker chart is an awesome idea so that toddlers can make a visual connection with their progress. Just make sure that you provide an incentive that you know will motivate your little one to continue to progress.
It’s Potty Time
Now that you’ve got an arsenal of potty training techniques, it’s time to give it a shot. Just remember that what works for one child, may not work for another. Regardless of what methods you use, remember to make the process fun and inviting for your toddler. I guarantee by taking this approach it’ll make the potty training process easier and more enjoyable for you as well.