With all this time stuck at home and unable to go anywhere, this is the perfect time to toilet train any kiddos approaching this developmental stage. When toilet training kids it’s best to let them go around the house with just underwear in the beginning stages, less clothes to dirty. I’ve trained a number of kids both at home and while working in preschool, it’s not always a difficult task but certainly can be. It can also differ depending on gender. Read on for cues to know when to start training, tips on how to successful train and so on.
When is babe ready to toilet train?
Ok, really this is definitely child dependent. Sometimes parents are ready way before the child, in this case your first attempt may not be successful.
What to look for
Look for your child to have the ability to pull up and down their own pants/diaper;
They need to be able to sit on and get off the potty independently;
If they have a desire for your approval it’s a plus – their seeing how happy it makes you when they go potty will encourage them to continue the trend;
The ability to stay dry for a few hours at a time;
Asking to wear underwear;
Showing interest in other people using the toilet;
Wanting privacy when he fills his diaper;
Notifying you when they’re wet or soiled;
Having the communication skills to tell you when they have to go potty is also a huge help, but isn’t necessary.
Tips and Tricks to help with this huge milestone
Introduce your child to the potty or potty seat whichever you’ve decided to use. If there are older siblings have your eldest child model using the potty and then invite the trainee to try. If they refuse don’t push it, just try again in a little bit. You can also start this process by changing diapers in the washroom near the potty and inviting them to try to use the potty before putting the diaper back on.
Timing is everything. You want to set them up for success. Begin a routine, start inviting your child to sit on the potty frequently. Give them a minute warning before potty time and remind them that play time will continue after they sit on the potty. When they wake up, after breakfast, before leaving the house, after snack, before lunch, before nap, after nap, all day long. Each time they sit praise them with words, clapping etc.
There are many thoughts and beliefs out there on rewarding your kids during toilet training, read up on it to see where your beliefs stand. Regardless of whether you choose to use smarties, raisins or stickers some kind of visual reward can be enticing for some children. We always used a decorated sheet with the child’s name on it posted near the toilet so that they could proudly stick their sticker on it every time they used the potty.
We had a book bin for the bathroom during training time. We chose toilet training books as well as some favourites. We would read a story while they tried to push out their pee.
My biggest rule was once I went to underwear I didn’t go back. When you decide that your child is ready go underwear shopping. Buy their favourite character and buy a lot of them. Diapers/pull-ups are alright for nap and bedtime. I’ve heard of people travelling with their potty in the car during toilet training days, if you’re worried they will pee in their car seat. Others opt to wear pull-ups for long car drives over underwear. Having said that, every child is different and you know them best. If you’ve tried too soon, it’s not to late to put the undies away and try again in a few weeks.
Know your child’s routine. If they are having a hard time pooping in the toilet try and catch them when they usually have a bowel movement, distract them by reading a story or singing songs and they may not even realize they’ve done it in the toilet. Then reward, praise and tell the world the good news.
Potty training can be a long road or a short one, just remember to keep your cool during accidents and that a diaper free life is around the corner.
Stay safe, healthy and keep your distance. Working together to keep all those around us healthy will help us get through this time. Until next week.
By Shelley Heaphy
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