Just the words potty training can fill a parent with dread! If you’re considering to start potty training your toddler, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you begin in order to make sure you are BOTH ready!
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 you and your child!
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1. Is My Toddler Ready For Potty Training?
Most children will be ready for potty training between 18 months and three years of age.
Toddlers will often show signs of being ready by becoming more interested when you go to the bathroom! Your toddler may also pull at their diaper if it dirty and uncomfortable.
If your child seems ready then go ahead and give potty training a try. However, don’t get discouraged if they refuse right away. 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.
- Shows discomfort and complains when a diaper is full.
- Can follow basic directions.
- Understands potty lingo like “pee” and “poop.”
- Tells you when he needs to go.
- Uses body language, like hiding in the corner.
- Can pull pants down and up alone.
- Can sit down on as well as 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 is going to be the occasional accident, but don’t let it stress you out, the more flustered and/or frustrated you become, the more your child will feel uncomfortable with going to the potty.
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. Standard toilet seats are large for little bottoms, and your child may have a fear of 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?
Letting your child play with a potty doll before you start potty training can be a great way to get your toddler used to the idea of the potty.
Play with the doll and show your toddler what is supposed to happen. Then let them be the “parent” to the doll and let them do the work. Kids learn so fast during roleplay and will be excited to the one in control!
You can even do this game without the doll by role reversal games. Let your child be you and you pretend to be your child. You may feel silly, but role reversal games are a fantastic way to teach new concepts and ideas to kids.
5. Should We Use Potty Training Rewards?
There are lots of debates regarding reward training, but ultimately the decision is yours. Decide beforehand if you want to go this route as a form of encouragement for your child.
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 like a small toy for successfully going potty all week without accidents.
While rewards can be a great encouragement, the most important thing is that you show your child how proud you are of them.
Take these five things into consideration before you start your potty training adventure to make sure you are both well prepared!
And remember! Potty training doesn’t have to be hard and stressful. Make it fun for your toddler and don’t try to get everything perfect in one day! Your child won’t be diapers forever! 🙂
I would love to hear any tips and tricks you have for potty training, so leave them in the comments!