Finally! Your little babe is ready to use the potty like a big kid. (Just think of the possibilities of living a diaper free life!) The whole concept is wonderful but you may have heard some stories about how complicated the process can be. Whether you’re afraid to begin or if you don’t know where to start when it comes to potty-training, here are a few helpful tips so you can make the process an easy one. We promise—you can do it!
Know the Signs
Most children show interest in potty-training between 18 and 24 months of age. Though some will start earlier and others much later, even up to the age of 4. Potty-training really is an individual experience for each child. Just because your first-born potty-trained in three days, it doesn’t mean your other children will do so too. The most important thing you can do is look for the signs that your baby is ready to go to the bathroom independently. Keep in mind, there’s a small window of time to make their interest turn into a productive process so you’ll want to have your mom radar on. If your child starts to show independence, act interested in the potty, complain about wet or dirty diapers, knows when he is about to go or asks questions about the potty while you’re going, you can pretty much bet that they’re ready to try themselves. When you see this natural curiosity, it’s time to begin the process. If your baby says “no,” or reacts negatively to the experience, don’t force the issue. Just come back to address the issue at a later time.
Choose the Right Seat
Have your little one go with you to choose their potty seat. Some children may feel more comfortable having their own potty seat that sits on the floor while others might enjoy using the bigger toilet. Just make sure you buy a stool and the special children’s potty seat that fits on top of the regular toilet seat. Let your child choose a seat that they feel comfortable with. You’ll also want to look for a seat that’s easy to clean and easy to store.
Purchase Special Underwear
Before you begin the potty-training process, let your child pick out some new big boy/girl underwear with their favorite character on the front. Then explain how once they go to the bathroom in the potty, they can wear the comfy, fun underwear all the time. Then once you start potty-training, let them wear the underwear and don’t worry if they have a few accidents. It’s all part of the process.
One of the best ways to handle potty-training is to take a few days and just let your baby be comfortable in the bare bottom. Not having a diaper on, will help them realize they need to go somewhere and the potty may be the best option. Once they start having some time in between their trips to the potty, they can start wearing their fun new underwear.
Try the 20-minute Method
If you’re having a hard time figuring out your child’s exact potty schedule, try having them sit down on the potty every 20 minutes or so. Though it may seem taxing at first, you’ll soon learn their schedule and you’ll definitely get some results throughout the process.
The best way to show your babe how to go is to actually show them how to do it. Little girls will love to copy their mamas by sitting on the potty. Little boys will love to be cool like dad.
Make A Sticker Chart
Giving your baby a goal is always a great idea! For every time they go, give them a smiley sticker on their “potty chart.” They’ll be so proud! For tougher cases, you may want to offer a special toy at the end of the process or a few M&Ms for a special number 2 success.
Raising a child takes a village and sometimes, so does potty-training. Speak with your child’s pediatrician about the best techniques to employ and tips for helping your child through the process. If your child attends daycare, make sure to tell your child’s teacher that you are potty-training. They will be very helpful in the process and will make sure to keep the work going throughout the day. There are also many books to help you through the process, books for your child to read about the potty and even, apps, songs and videos to make the process more fun!
Invest in Overnight Training Pants
Once your baby starts to get the idea, they still might have trouble going number 2 or making it through the night. That’s where training pants come in handy. You’ll still want to use them until you’re sure your little one can make it through that car ride or overnight sleep without an accident.
Celebrate Good Times!
One of the best ways to keep your child interested in potty-training is to make a big deal about it every time they go. You’ll want to do a potty dance and jump up and down and get other family members involved. Your child will feel accomplished and so proud of themselves. You really will be proud of them too so it will be fun and easy to celebrate.
Potty training can be a great experience if you realize that you need to be positive and patient during the experience. Give your little one everything they need to start the process, but ultimately, let them take the lead on when it’s the right time for them to start the process. Best of Luck!