So you're ready to potty train your child?
Well, the first step is waiting for your child to be ready.
What are some signs he may be ready?
Wanting their diaper changed sooner after soiling it.
Getting curious about the toilet/potty, wanting to sit on it.
Throwing their diaper off, not wanting to wear it.
Tell you when they need to go pee/poop,
The average age kids begin potty training is age 2. Some kids start a early as 1 and others don't potty train until 4 or 5.
According to Mayo Clinic, if your child resists the potty, or isn't catching on a few weeks in, chances are they are not yet ready. The American Academy of Pediatrics also noted that the longer you wait to train, the quicker the process may be, since your child will have the necessary skills of self-sufficiency.
In my personal experience, my first born took the longest and was most resistant to the process and wasn't fully potty trained until age 4.
My second born refused to abandon his diaper until age 3 on the first day of preschool when he knew he'd have to use a big boy toilet. Up until that point I had tried everything to potty train him and he wasn't having it, I let him know everyday leading up to preschool that he would have to get out of diapers before he went to preschool which meant using the potty, he didn't care..or so I thought....The very first day, he used the potty without problems and from that day forward never looked back to diapers again.
Finally, my youngest was potty trained at 2 and was by far the easiest. He was eager and willing to learn. i think it helped having his older brothers to observe and learn. It was just a normal concept that he picked up quickly.
As you can see from my kids, it could happen at any time from 2-5.
Here's how to make it easier, Your tools to stick in your belt:
Giving a star every time they sit on the toilet, 2 stars for going pee on the pot, and 3 stars for a poop! Make sure your child knows what will happen after earning x amount of stars so they stay motivated. I rewarded with a couple m&ms after a successful potty.
Setting a timer-
Every 20 mins-40 mins place your child on the potty. Get them in the routine of using the toilet this way.
Remove the diaper while at home-
Kids don't like to pee on themselves, so if they feel the urge to go they will probably cry or tell you. Pay attention to these cues so you can immediately sit them on the toilet to go. Even if they pee on the ground, they will gain more self awareness that will lead to a learning oppurtunity. Without the diaper, they will have to learn a new normal as far as where pee belongs. Let them know the potty is where their pee and poop belongs. My son really hated messing himself, this encouraged him to use the bathroom
Let the pick out their own big kid underwear
Make it a game:
A friend of mine told me that placing a fruit loop in the toilet and telling her son to try to hit it with the urine stream helped her child use the potty.
I still needed over night pull ups for bed time for my 3 year old up until recently-he's about to turn 4 now. I make sure he uses the bathroom before bed and sometimes wake him up in the middle of the night to go if he seems squirmy.
My kids didn't love "pottys", rather, they preferred sitting straight on the toilet. I purchased a child sized toilet seat that screws on to the toilet seat and can lift up and down below the lid. That was perfect for smaller tots. My kids, didn't need to use it. I helped hold them up until they were able to themselves.
I want to add that, once your child is interested in potty training, it happens really fast. It's when you try to force it before they're ready, where it may seem to take forever. So, cut them, and yourself, some slack! They have the rest of their lives to sit on toilets, after all.
Plus, it makes going places more difficult because you have to run to the bathrooms, pull over the car multiple times, etc. A real pain in the butt!
Enjoy the process and where you are right now. It'll happen when they are ready for it to happen.
Good luck moms!
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