If you are considering to start potty training your toddler, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you begin. Being well prepared for this challenging milestone is one of the best things you can do to make this transition as easy as possible for your child.
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1. Is My Toddler Ready For Potty Training?
You want to start potty training at just the right time. Most children will be ready for potty training between 18 months and three years of age.
You will know that your child is ready when he or she gets more interested in you going to the potty, tells you right away when the diaper is wet or pulls on it and seems uncomfortable with it. Give potty training a try, if your child doesn’t seem ready despite the signs, wait a few weeks and try again.
Here are some signs your toddler is ready to begin potty training
- Shows interest in the toilet, potty, or underpants.
- Wants to watch you go.
- Stays dry for two or more hours.
- Poops on a predictable schedule.
- Complains about wet or dirty diapers, and wants to be changed.
- Can follow basic directions.
- Understands potty lingo like “pee” and “poop.”
- Tells you when he needs to go—or uses body language, like going into corner or grunting.
- Can pull pants down and up alone.
- Can sit down on—and get up from—a potty chair.
2. Am I Ready To Potty Train?
While it´s important your child is ready, it´s also important you´re ready. Prepare yourself mentally for the transition as you will need a lot of patience and understanding.
Ideally, start potty training when you have no big commitments or over a weekend when your free to focus solely on potty training.
There are going to be resentment, tears, and the occasional accident. By mentally preparing for this you´ll be better equipped to stay calm and supportive of your child.
3. Do We Need A Potty Chair?
Some toddlers can find the regular toilet very intimidating. The seat is rather large and your child will have to hold on to avoid falling in. In addition, things vanish in there when you flush which can be a pretty scary thought for your child.
Many toddlers are more comfortable with a potty chair at first. After a few weeks, you should be able to move on to a potty seat insert like this one, that fits on your regular toilet eliminating the potty cleanup.
4. Should We Use A Potty Doll?
A potty doll is not a necessity when it comes to potty training, but can be a great tool. A potty doll, like this one, will pee like an actual child and usually comes with diapers, panties, and a potty chair.
The doll can help tremendously during the pre-potty training phase when you are getting your child used to the idea of going in the potty instead of the diaper.
You can illustrate whats supposed to happen on the doll and let your child warm up to the idea by playing with the doll in the same fashion. When you are ready to potty train, put the doll on the potty right next to your child.
5. Should We Use Potty Training Rewards?
Before you start potty training, you should decide if you are going to use some sort of rewards as encouragement for your child, or if you will simply make your child feel great about his successes by being his cheerleader.
Simple potty training rewards can include stickers and reward charts like this one, candy, like a few jelly beans or M&Ms, or you can use some sort of tracking chart for bigger rewards (i.e. If you use the potty for an entire week without accident, you get a small toy).
Using simple rewards can be a great potty training tool, but it isn’t by any means necessary as long as you get the message across to your child that you are proud of him.
Take a few minutes to answer these potty training questions for yourself and go over them with your spouse as well to ensure you are on the same page before you start potty training your child. It will help you give your child a clear picture of what you are both trying to accomplish and will cut down on any confusion.