It’s simple: you need timing and patience! To successfully potty-train your child, you need emotional and physical readiness. These has have nothing to do with your child’s age.
Many children begin to show an increased interest in potty training around the age of 2, but others may not be ready until they are 3 years old (or even older).
Is your child ready for potty training? To find out whether your child is ready for potty training, see if you can answer ‘yes’ to the following questions. (If you mostly say ‘no’, then wait a month or two before starting the training.)
Is your child:
- Able to sit on and rise from their potty chair?
- Able to pull down their own pants and pull them back up again?
- Able to stay dry for periods of up to two hours or longer throughout the day?
- Able to tell you through words, posture, or facial expressions when they need to go?
- Able to follow and understand basic instructions and directions?
- Interested in their potty chair or the toilet.
Get ready for potty training
Make sure to place your child’s potty chair in a room where they spend most of their time, or in the bathroom. Have them even decorate the chair so they can become familiar with it. It’s important to encourage your child to sit on the potty and make sure that their feet firmly touch the floor.
Schedule your child’s potty breaks
If your child appears interested, have them sit on their potty chair or the toilet (aided) without their diaper for a minute or two, several times each day.
For young boys, it’s highly recommended that they master potty training sitting down before learning how to pee while standing up. Always supervise and stay with your child when they’re on their potty or in the bathroom. Even if your child decides to simply sit there, always offer praise for trying, and remind them that they can always try to go potty later.
Be prepared to potty quickly!
There may come a time that your child may show signs of needing to use the toilet. Respond quickly and help your child become familiar with need-to-go signals such as squirming, squatting and so on.
Stop what your child is doing and lead them to their potty or toilet. Praise your child when they inform of you of their need to go to the toilet.
Always teach young girls to wipe from front to back in order to prevent germs. And when it’s time to flush the toilet, give your child the pleasure of doing so – but don’t forget to remind them to wash their hands!
Consider incentives. Some children respond well to the encouragement and incentives of stickers or stars on a ‘potty chart’.
This should solve the problem.
Some children respond well to the encouragement and incentives of stickers or stars on a ‘potty chart’. For others, an extra five minutes on the computer or in the backyard is a great form of praise and incentive.
Reinforce your child’s potty-training effort with verbal praise. Always remain positive, even if a few trips to the toilet weren’t as successful as you hoped.
Accidents will happen. Its Normal!
You will soon be able to relax a little more, knowing that your child has mastered potty training, But, as with most things in life, there may be one or two unexpected accidents or near-misses.
- Accidents will often happen when your child is absorbed in an activity that may be far more interesting than using a toilet. To avoid this problem, schedule bathroom breaks throughout the day.
- Always remain calm. Children don’t have accidents to upset or anger you; it’s an accident. So remember to be supportive.
- Be prepared. If you notice that your child has frequent accidents, consider absorbent underwear as an alternative solution. Keep an extra pair of underwear and clothing handy for trips outside the home to places such as childcare or school.
It’s important to not become discouraged. Stay positive, and positively reinforce the message that your child is doing well. A little bit of guidance and parental support goes a long way!