Did your best friend daughter become potty trained at only 19 months? Are you tired of buying diapers? Do you want your child potty trained NOW? If you answered yes to the above questions you might be rushing into potty training and it will become a stressful event.
The key to potty training is starting when YOUR CHILD is ready. Look for these signs that show your child may be ready to start potty training:
His/her diaper stays dry for 3-4 hours during the day
His/her diaper is dry in the morning
He/she starts asking about the toilet
He/she tells you when his/her diaper is wet
If you notice any of the above behaviors in your child, then it might be time to start potty training. Don’t worry about the age of your child. All children become potty trained at their own time.
My daughter was an early talker and she seemed advanced in her motor skills, so I thought she would be potty trained at an early age. When she turned two I decided to try potty training. It was a long 3 months of changing wet clothes and wet sheets before I realize she just wasn’t ready. When she was almost 3 years old she stayed dry for several hours during the day, so I reluctantly decided to try potty training again. This time it only took two weeks before she was potty trained during the day. I continued to put her in pull ups for about 6 months because she continued to have a few “accidents” during the middle of the night.
When your child seems ready here are some helpful hints:
If possible allow your child to spend time at home with a shirt on, but no bottoms.
I was very lucky that my daughter was potty training during the summer. I allowed her to only wear a t shirt around the house. This allowed her to be more aware of when she needed to go to the bathroom. I do have wood floors, so any accidents were easy to clean up.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Creating a bathroom routine is very important. As soon as your child wakes up, have them sit on the toilet and try to use the bathroom. About 30 minutes after meals or drinking have your child try to use the bathroom. Right before bed have your child try to use the bathroom.
Portable potties are optional
I was told to use a portable potty and my friend gave me one as a gift. I used it a couple times, but found it to be more of a hassle. For one, it was not fun to clean and I never felt it was 100% clean. I also felt it was too easy to have a portable toilet always right by your side. My daughter knew the potty was close by, so she would wait until the last minute to use the bathroom. When we were away from the house she had many accidents because the potty wasn’t right by her side.
What I did use and like was the smaller, padded toilet seat that fits directly on the regular toilet. Her body fit much easier on this and we could take it and use outside the home.
Praise your child for their efforts and don’t discipline their failures
Potty training is something your child may not master over night. When your child does successfully use the toilet to go to the bathroom, he/she should be praised for doing so. I used a sticker chart with my daughter. She loved putting a sticker on the chart every time she used the toilet.
Your child will have accidents and you shouldn’t make a big deal about it or punish your child for accidents. Just say, “Maybe next time we should use the potty 20 minutes after eating instead of 30 minutes.” Set a timer for 20 minutes so your child becomes aware of how long 20 minutes is. If your child is having accidents maybe you need to be asking your child more frequently if he/she needs to use the bathroom.
Limit drinks close to bedtime
Your child is little and has a little bladder. Don’t give a lot of liquid 2 or 3 hours before bedtime. Most toddlers sleep 10-12 hours and sometimes it’s not physically possible to not use the bathroom that long. You might want to put a night light in the bathroom if your child does wake up and want to use the bathroom during the night.
The day will come when your child is potty trained. There are no grown adults that are not potty trained. If the process is too frustrating for you or your child he/she may not be ready yet. If he/she is not ready, put the diapers back on and wait 1-3 months. Trying again 3 months later will be easier. Each child is different, so try not to compare your child to the rest of your children. Each child will become potty trained when he/she is ready.