Potting Training 101 – Tips And Tricks
Keys to Successful Potty Training
Potty training is a major challenge for some families, especially when both parents work outside the home. In most cases, potty training requires patience, persistence, and consistency in order to achieve success. Children need positive reinforcement when they perform appropriately and gentle correction when mistakes and accidents happen. By developing a relaxed attitude toward toilet training, parents can often help children achieve potty training success more quickly and reliably.
Potty Training Readiness
The first step in beginning potty training is to determine the child’s level of readiness. Children develop at different rates, so assessing the individual level of development is essential in order to produce the best possible results.
Although many parents feel like 3 years is a magic age by which their child must be potty trained, that is not always the case.
According to a recent poll on keepkidshealthy.com, almost 25% of kids were not fully potty trained until they were 3 1/2 or 4 years old.
Beginning potty training too early can actually create more problems, as toddlers may become resistant to the process and develop habits that can interfere with later attempts at toilet training. At a minimum, children should be able to follow simple instructions, understand the names used for various parts of the body and toilet functions, and be able to perform the physical elements of the process such as walking to the potty, removing the diaper or pull-up, and sitting down. Most experts recommend holding off on potty training until the child is at least eighteen months old; some children are not ready for toilet training until they are two or three years of age.
Timing is The Key
Even for toddlers who show signs of toilet training readiness, it can be wise to delay potty training until after major changes in the household or living arrangements have been completed. Additionally, parents should hold off on potty training during periods of stress at work or in personal matters; patience and a sense of humor are definitely required during the potty training process. Accidents will happen as the toddler gradually learns to control his or her bodily functions; it’s best not to make a big deal of these mistakes and to instead praise and reward the child for successes. This will present potty training in a more positive light and can result in a better attitude toward the process on the part of most youngsters.
Chair or Booster Seat?
Depending on the height and comfort level of the individual child, some parents prefer to train using a potty chair. Smaller children may relish the novelty of having a chair just their own size for potty time, while older children may be too large or may find the potty chair too babyish for mature three-year-old tastes. Booster seats are available that fit onto the existing toilet seat to provide a comfortable place for children to sit. Some come equipped with convenient steps and handrails to make the toddler feel even more secure and provide more independence during the potty training process. The choice between a potty chair and a booster seat is largely one of parent and child preference and does not significantly affect the outcome of training as long as the child feels comfortable and safe in the seat or chair.
Get Into The Groove
By establishing a routine schedule for potty training attempts and taking the child to the bathroom at regular intervals throughout the day, parents can help children become more aware of their bodily functions. This, in turn, can help toddlers have fewer accidents. Regularly scheduled bathroom breaks can even help adjust the child’s physical needs so that they coincide with the scheduled potty training times, helping to reinforce success.
By working consistently and patiently with younger children, parents and caregivers can achieve success in potty training and move out of diaper days and into big kid territory. Don’t forget to praise children and comment on their big kid status; these warm words can help to reinforce the child’s potty training success and ensure that the entire experience is seen as positive and nurturing by parents and children alike.