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Potty Training Overview

Beginning to potty train a child is an important step for the parents and child alike. There is no specified age to begin potty training a child. Therefore, it is important that parents begin at a time that is right for the child. When going through the journey, it is crucial that parents remember the secret to success. This means they must have patience. It will be a challenge at first, but it will get easier.

Is your child ready to be potty trained?

There is no specific age that is required to begin toilet training a child. However, most children are ready between the ages of two to three years old. Age should not be the only deciding factor, though. It is also important to consider the child's physical and physiological readiness. If your child is not physically ready, it is important not to push the issue. Doing so can actually cause the learning process to take longer. Physical readiness involves a number of different components:

  • Your child must be able to walk well. This is so the child can walk to and from the restroom.
  • The child must be able to pull their pants up and down. If they do not currently have the ability to do so, they are not ready yet.

Physiological readiness is also commonly referred to as bladder readiness. Babies are unable to hold a large amount of urine in their bladder. As a result, they void small amounts. When babies grow, their bladders become more mature. This means that they are able to hold larger amounts of urine at a time. Once this maturing takes place, you will know that your child is ready to be potty trained. There are different signs to look out for:

  • If your child is keeping dry for longer intervals, then they are likely to be ready.
  • If your child is voiding larger amounts at a time, then they are likely to be ready.

How do I go about potty training my child?

The most important aspect of potty training a child is to maintain patience and keep a positive attitude. When getting started, the first thing you will need to do is pull out the equipment. Invest in a potty chair and place it in the bathroom. One useful tip is to purchase one that has a removable top. The removable top can be placed directly on the toilet when your child is ready for that next step. Then, use encouragement to get your child to sit on the potty chair. This can happen with or without their diaper on. If your child goes in the diaper, you can dump the contents into the potty chair to show the child what is meant for. Another idea is to let your child see a family member of his or her sex using the toilet. This will also help the child begin to understand the toilet's purpose. Teach your child simple terms about the bathroom. This will help them correctly express themselves when they need to go. Pay attention to signs they may give. These include things such as squirming or holding the genital area. It is important that you respond to these signals in a quick manner. Not only that, but teach them to head to the restroom instead of spending their time squirming.

What are some useful rewards to give my child?

  • One of the most basic incentives to give is praise and encouragement. Kids love being told they did a good job. Verbal praise can be more effective then you even realize. Use encouraging words, such as, “Great job! You're using the toilet just like big kids do!” Try to keep up the praise, even when they are not able to make it to the bathroom in time. Attempting is better then nothing.
  • Along with praise and encouragement, some kids respond well to other incentives. One example is to offer them an extra bedtime story.
  • Another example of useful incentives are printable potty training charts. Kids tend to love these things. There are many different potty training charts that you can get. Some of the most popular include charts that incorporate stickers or Disney characters. No matter the incentive you use, make it fun and something your child will enjoy.

What should I do when my child has an accident after Potty Training?

Accidents are inevitable. They will happen from time to time. In the event of an accident, it is important that you remain calm and do not get upset. An accident is simply a mistake and should be treated lightly. The best action to take is to change them and say something along the lines of “Uh-oh. We better get you changed. Soon you will remember to use the potty chair every time you need to use the potty.” Also, keep in mind that nighttime control is a lot harder to manage. It often takes kids much longer to not go to the bathroom while they are sleeping. This is completely normal. Consider using mattress covers, as well as disposable training pants on your child at night. Make sure that you know when to call it quits. If you are continuously battling with your child to use the potty chair, then chances are they are not ready. If it has a been a while and they have not gotten the hang of it, take a break. Remember that children have to be both physically and physiologically ready. Try again in a few months. The process will be much smoother then. Potty training can be a great experience for both the parents and child alike. It does not have to be a difficult process. Do not treat it like a nightmare, rather remain positive and encouraging. Only attempt the process when you think that your child is truly ready. Once the child has a success, make it into a big deal. Have a little celebration. Have your child inform others, such as their siblings, or grandparents. This will make them more likely to continue to use the potty the right way.