Ahh, freedom from the daily diaper drudgery! Potty training your toddler definitely has its perks. But when do you start to potty train? How can you tell when your child is ready to begin training? And how on earth do you get them to do it at all? Here are some tips and resources every parent should know about the wonderful world of potty training.
Everyone knows how expensive buying diapers can be. When do you make the move from diapers to panties or underwear? How can you get your child to make the connection between what YOU do on the potty and what HE does in his diaper? Here are a few signs that your son or daughter is ready to start potty training:
1) Can take off and pull on (at least fairly well) his pants. (ha, you never thought THAT would come in handy, did you?)
2) Likes to watch you go to the bathroom. Your child might want to help by flushing the toilet or waving “bye-bye” to the poo as it goes down.
3) Has a feeling of pride when she does something all by herself.
4) Uses some words to tell when he wets or poos his diaper. My 18 month old now says “I peeped” whenever she goes either Number One or Number Two.
5) Has a dry diaper for a couple of hours sometimes. (this shows a little bit of control over the bladder muscles)
These are just some basic signs of readiness. It might take a while for your child to have all of them. That’s okay. The most important thing to remember about potty training is that it won’t work til your child is ready. You don’t want it to be an epic battle. (By the way, no one will win) Most kids don’t show all the signs of readiness til they are at least 2 years old, some not even until 3. I have a niece who wasn’t trained til a couple of months before her 4th birthday. It’s not a crime, it just wasn’t time.
There a lots of great items available on the market today to help parents potty train their toddler when they’re ready. You can get a potty seat that sings, special dyes that make the water change colors when they pee, and even certificates and stickers to show your child how proud you are. Take a look at some of the neat stuff they have available on www.pottytrainingstuff.com ‘s site and you’ll be amazed.
My personal favorite rewards (used successfully with 2 grown children and countless babysittin’ kids) are Froot Loops cereal thrown in the toilet bowl for little boys to aim at (this is outrageously fun and they look forward to it immensely) and new big girl princess panties for little girls. Get whatever character your child wants. And get lots of them, because there might be accidents for awhile at first.
Potty training can be a short or long process. It really depends on you and your child. You have to be consistent but not get upset when they make mistakes. Most children want to please their parents badly enough that if their body is ready, they will do what you ask. If they can’t, it is probably a sign that their little body isn’t ready yet and you should wait a couple months and try again.