5 Tips To Make Potty Training Made Easy and Fun!
1. How do I know when my child is ready to potty train?
Potty training is a very exciting time for both you and your child. It is a big step in independence with toddlers. Really, potty training is the one of the first chances children have to show their independence and have pride inter accomplishments. The best time to start potty training your child is when life is calm. I describe it as the tides of the ocean. You want to enter potty training when you are in a high tide: life is calm. You have not just moved or are moving int he near future, your child has not just started a new school or day care, and there is not a new baby in the house. Low tides are when life is rocky: you are battling behaviors and sleep with your child. Wait until you hit high tide!
I do not typically recommend starting to seriously potty train until a child is at lest 22-24 months. The reason behind this is that te bran/bladder development is not complete until around the age of 2. I always recommend starting to introduce positive potty associations as young as 16-18 months. Get a small child size potty and put it in the bathroom. Allow your child to explore the potty and anytime they sit (regardless of if they are nude, have a diaper on, or fully clothed), praise them. You want your child to have positive experiences with the potty before diving into potty training.
2. Some of the readiness signs to look for in your child
-They are able to hold their urine for an hour or more. Muscle control is very important.
-Have regular bowel-movements at predictable times
-Able to pull up/down underwear (may need some assistance)
-You are in a good place with your toddler
-Shows an interest in the toilet
-Able to play independently for a short period of time
-Takes pride in their accomplishments
Dislikes the feeling of being wet/soiled
-Able to follow simple one-step commands
-Has word for pee/poo
-Starting to tell you they need to go/have gone potty
3.What is the philosophy of potty training. What should our attitude be
My approach is a child-lead approach. Our children and especially toddlers are always being told where to go and when to do it. Potty training should be a time when your child is able to take the reins and have control. This also reduces the tension between you and your child. You will not use a timer and MAKE them sit on the potty.
I tell parents the key to potty training is to stay strong, consistent and positive…You, can do it. There may be times during potty training that are frustrating and you want to quit. Stick with it. Do not show your toddler that when times get tough you will quit. Try to have fun with potty training and enjoy the time with your child. Show them how proud you are of them.
4. Should I give up all diapers when starting to potty train?
I get asked this question very often. the answer is 100% NO. The day you start potty training, you will get rid of the current diapers and your child will no longer wear diapers or pull-ups when they are awake. You will still use diapers/pull-ups for naps and overnight. I do recommend buying a new brand or look of diaper and tell your child these “new’ pants are special just for sleeping. The reason behind this is because you do not want to confuse your child and some children will not want to wear their old diapers as they are now potty trained.
You have just spent the last 2 plus years getting your child on a great sleeping schedule and the last thing I would ever want to do is interrupt that routine. A toddler needs on average 10-14 hours a sleep a day and sleep is crucial to brain development at this age. There is also a very significant genetic link with night wetting. If you or your partner experienced late night wetting, your child has a 5 times higher chance of being later night wetter. Many children are not night trained until 4, 5, 6, even 7 years of age. Before you ever try to use an alarm or wake your child in the night to empty their bladder, please speak with your Pediatrician.
**There are children who can hold their bladder overnight as soon as they are potty trained, but this is the minority. Once your child shows they are able to stay dry for 5-7 naps/nights, you then can put them in underwear to sleep.
5. What are some tips/tricks with potty training
-With girls: if your daughter is having a difficult time not getting her pants wet when she sits on the potty, turn her around or have her keep her legs together and lean forward. It is very sad when you see your child working so hard and by accident pee gets on their clothing.
-With boys: do not talk to them while they are peeing…you will get pee all over your bathroom. Also, start boys sitting to pee and one to standing once they are confident.
-You can use a goldfish cracker or fruit loop in the toilet for aim.
-Always allow your child to flush the toilet (this is a reward itself)
-Get fun underwear. NO child is going to be excited to see all white underwear on the first day of potty training.
-Always carry a travel potty.
-When transitioning your child to wearing underwear overnight, use the 2 sheet method (waterproof pad, sheet, waterproof pad, sheet). This way you do not have to change sheets at 2 am if they have an accident.
-Try not to cheer when your child starts to pee/poo. This can cause stage fright…wait until they are finished and then you can go crazy!
-Dress up is a huge motivator for toddlers!
Make sure to connect with Megan for any questions that you have regarding Potty Training, Sleep or Milestones!