Potty training your toddler can feel like an uphill battle. There will be small victories, probably followed by a series of setbacks. The first thing I can suggest before attempting any sort of toddler potty training tips is to never get frustrated. Your kiddo is probably doing the best he can in trying to master this strange and sometimes stinky new ritual.
While the process of toddler potty training can be difficult success is its own reward. No more diaper changes sounds like a dream come true to any parent, but as with most things worth having it might not come easily. Kids are all different, some will be ready for potty training before two and others won't hit their stride until three.
Some questions you might ask when considering toddler potty train include: How long can my child actually stay dry for? If it's two hours or more, that is a great sign. Is my cherub able to pull his pants up and down? It's OK if they can't quite yet, practice makes perfect, but it is something to be mindful of.
No matter when your child is ready, don't worry about how early or late it is happening. Your babes aren't missing developmental milestones or anything serious. Regardless of their age, here are a set of toddler potty training tips that you and your children will find useful in smoothing out the toddler potty training process.
Prepare for Potty-Time
Set yourself and your kids up for success! Putting in work before starting the potty training process can lead to things going a whole lot smoother. Let your child assist you in choosing their own potty chair. Toss some big kid underwear into the mix to reserve as a special reward once they've really got it down.
Some kids might choose to forgo the kids toilet entirely and insist on doing their business where they've seen their parents do so. If that is the case, assist them in choosing an attachable potty chair. Allowing them to participate in the process is a big component of successful potty training.
Recognize the Potty Signs
Depending on the age of your little one, they might be able to simply tell you that they need to go. Younger kids will require a bit more interpretation but once you recognize the signs it becomes extremely simple to guide them to the toilet. The signs are different for all kids but squirming, bouncing up and down, squatting, or grabbing at their privates are usually pretty good indicators.
Even if they aren't exhibiting any signs, it can be good during this stage to simple sit them down on the potty once every couple hours to give them a chance to do their business. Hang out with them and make it a relaxing experience, bring a toy or a book and give them 10 or 15 minutes. There is no rush.
Doing the Doo
Loose-fitting clothing is almost a necessity for potty-training time. Kids and adults alike are going to have a bad time racing to peel off tight-fitting jeans before the inevitable happens. Getting the child to the toilet on time is really half the battle won already. If you manage that, you're almost home-free!
Whether or not your tot produces it's important to congratulate them on managing to recognize the signs and get to the toilet. Even if there is an accident, don't be upset. We always want to encourage. "We had an accident, but I'm sure you'll get there next time." Punishment has no place in this process, and positive reinforcement goes extremely far for a child's mindset.
Hygiene and Clean-up
Whether a deposit was made or not, establish good hygiene after a bathroom visit. Stress to your child how important it is to wash their hands. Explain to little girls the proper method for wiping. "Front to back is the way, keep the poop out of VJ." I've never actually told my kids that rhyme. My youngest is a little boy. It might be a bit too lewd for some tastes anyways.
Another thing that drives mom crazy is not flushing. Some kids might be scared of the sound at first, but if you can associate it with a job well done then your little ones will start using it as a method of announcing a done deed. One of my babes associated flushing with stickers/candy and would flush just to try and get some. Very clever, and that brings us to our last point.
Bribes. Because They Work.
Some parents will argue against it, but I've found that a reward for a job well done goes extremely far. This is part of the positive reinforcement that I mentioned earlier. Create a potty-chart and get some fun stickers, because stickers are like friggin' catnip for kids. A row of five stickers meant a small treat such as crayons or simple toys, but filling the entire chart (twenty-five stickers) was a big deal. A full potty-chart meant a trip to the local arcade and some fast-food.
If you don't want to go through the rigamarole of creating a chart and becoming the arbiter of stickers, a bag of candy does the job in a pinch. If my son pees in the toilet it means 2 Mini M&Ms, if he drops a deuce we're talking about 4 sweeties. Probably the worst part of toilet training is getting kids to wipe themselves. If he manages to wipe himself (or at least attempts to), then I'll dole out 6 of those chocolate buttons. We call that the hat-trick.
Toddler Potty Training Tips Conclusion
Toddler potty training is a process. You might need to dedicate yourself to it for at least a few months, but there is a huge light at the end of the tunnel. Simply stay attentive to your child's needs and help them as required. You are both on the same team and I guarantee your toddler only wants to please and see you happy. Accidents happen, but I promise you that he or she is trying their absolute best. Make sure you are doing the same. Always remember your three ingredients to great parenting; Love, understanding, and mutual respect. Thank you for reading. I hope you'll join me again next week.