Potty training your toddler may seem like a daunting process, but all you need to do is choose the right time and make sure you’re ready for it. You will also want to consider your child on an individual basis. Some children learn better by being taught about using the potty slowly, while others are successful with the cold turkey approach. Here are some tips for step-by-step potty training.
Choose the Right Time
Choosing the right time to potty train your child is going to be the hardest step. If you don’t know which method works best for your child, start slow. Look for signs they are ready to use the potty, such as being uncomfortable in their diapers, talking about going to the bathroom, being able to dress themselves or being able to stay dry for longer stretches of time. Once you start seeing these signs, which generally happen around two years old, you can start potty training.
Use a Kid-Friendly Toilet
You should also make sure you have chosen the right toilet. You can choose a potty seat on top of your regular toilet, or a smaller potty seat that stands on its own and is dumped into the toilet. Some parents like smaller toilets in other areas of the home, but be careful because your child might get confused later on when they’re told only to use the main family toilet in the bathroom. Also, if your child is going to use a public restroom, always avoid the ones that automatically flush. These can be terrifying for toddlers.
Experts often agree starting slow is the best method of potty training. One thing to start doing before they are showing signs of using the potty, are bringing them with you to get associated with going potty on the toilet. It teaches them that is where potty time is. Another way to start slow is to choose various times during the day where you bring them to the potty, whether they need to go or not. Make sure they sit on the potty, as many times, they will go. When they wake up, before sleep, before and after naps, and before leaving the house are all good times.
Don’t get in the habit of asking your toddler if they need to go to the potty, because the answer is going to be no most times. When they start getting used to going to the bathroom on their own, the question is more acceptable. In the beginning, this isn’t going to be helpful.
Teach Bathroom Hygiene
Potty training is also the perfect time to start teaching about proper hygiene, especially after using the restroom. Teach about the importance of wiping front to back and always washing their hands with soap and water after using the potty. Buy fun hand soap and towels for your kids, plus a stool so they can reach the sink. These items provide extra incentive to wash their hands, making it fun for them.
Finally, offer rewards and praise when you are potty training. Never punish a child for having an accident, no matter how old they are. It is not uncommon for children after potty training effectively, to wet the bed or have accidents. Punishing them is not going to teach them. Instead, praise them and offer rewards when they use the potty in the right way. You can have a sticker chart for the days they used the potty, or give them little rewards for every full day of no accidents.
Expect to have some accidents in the beginning and plan for long trips away from home by bringing diapers just in case you need them.