Categorized | Health, Potty Training

Potty Training Toddlers – What Works and What Doesn’t

Potty training toddlers, like any developmental milestone, is a journey. You need to take baby steps in order to do it successfully, so take a moment to learn what tends to work and what does not.

What Works

Starting Only When Your Toddler Is Ready

There is no definite time for being ready to start learning to use the potty. Some toddlers are ready as early as 18 months while others are not until they reach the age of 3. You will know when your toddler is ready to be potty trained with these tell-tale signs:

  • Can sit, walk and run steadily
  • Able to understand and carry out simple orders
  • Able to stay dry for at least 2 to 3 hours
  • Has regular, well-formed bowel movements
  • Informs you when he is about to pee or poop through his facial expression, words or posture
  • Shows a dislike for diapers

Having A Plan

Potty training your little one is not easy; hence, making a plan for the training process will make it easier for the both of you. Decide when and how you want to start, how to deal with accidents , when to back off and so on. At the same time, keep an open mind. There is no way to know how your toddler will react to your potty training techniques. Accept that there will be accidents. Like learning a new skill, both you and your toddler will need time to adjust, face setbacks and errors and practice. Seek out tips and advices from other people. Talk to your toddler’s pediatrician. Once you have decided on a strategy, make sure you and your toddler’s caregivers’ sticks to it.

Buying Toilet Training Products

Make potty training fun and uncomplicated for your little one by giving him the following items:

  • 2-3 potty seats (to make sure one is close at hand)
  • Potty training doll (the same gender as your toddler)
  • Bright-colored underpants (easily pulled up or down)
  • Books about potty training (to increase your tot’s knowledge of using the potty)
  • Wall chart (for tracking your child’s progress)

Using Rewards

Your toddler will respond well to positive reinforcement so give praise. Naturally, your toddler will feel good knowing he has done something good which will encourage your tot to continue with his progress. Telling your toddler you are proud of him, complimenting him on his dry underpants, placing a star sticker on his wall chart and giving him a new toy or his favorite food will boost up his confidence. Just make sure you do not go overboard.

Praise your toddler even if mishaps happen all the same. Tell him he did a great job trying, you are not mad and that he can always do better next time. This way, you motivate your toddler to keep on trying amidst the hurdles he faced and will face.

What Does Not

Training Too Early or At The Wrong Time

If you have been trying to potty train your toddler for several weeks without success, maybe he is not yet ready. Stop and try again after a few weeks. Changes can also prolong a tot’s readiness especially if he is having a new sibling, going to a new school or experiencing a growth spurt. Toddlers love consistency and any changes to their routine are likely to cause hold-ups. Wait until things have settled down before you start.

Pressuring Your Toddler

Never push your toddler to get through it faster than he can handle. Do not expect him to learn it within a day. This will only make your toddler nervous which will result to behavioral and health problems (e.g. anxiety attacks and constipation). Let him take his time. Train him step by step. Give words of encouragement. If mishaps happen, do not make your toddler feel guilty.

Punishing Your Toddler

Getting mad or reprimanding your toddler will only backfire on you. Setbacks are normal and scolding will only make him less interested in training, it will also make him scared to make mistakes to prevent upsetting you. Keep your cool and stay calm under pressure.

Potty training a toddler requires time, effort, patience, support and a little creativity from parents. With the help of these does and don’ts, you can make potty training as smooth as possible for you and your toddler.

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