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Potty Training ! Will it ever happen ?

Many parents dread the idea of potty training. But don't worry , It will happen, no one graduates in pull ups ! And if you are patient, and consistent you may get it done in a few weeks. If you start to train too early you can expect it to go on for months, and in potty training time , it seems like forever ! What you can do is prepare your child for training by watching for the signs. Every child is different but you can see the signs of readiness around the age of two. Most children will by reflex soil or wet themselves during or after meals, they may even announce what they have done during or after . Don't rush to under ware and a potty quite yet though. One reason most potty training fails is because before two their speech is still sketchy , You need to be able to talk to them about the process and they need to communicate when they need to go. Sitting them on the potty before and after meals, naps, bath and bedtime help to get them familiar with the potty before real training starts. Parents can also spot a look or a squat that is a sign they are filling their pants. Also if they are staying dry for longer periods of time you are on your way to real training. If there is a disruption in the house like new sibling, moving, vacation or any out of the ordinary event, I would put off training until things settle down

Now that you are ready you need some equipment, A potty chair, maybe a travel potty and some loose fitting under ware. Children really like under ware with their favorite characters on them, maybe you can let them pick their favorites. In my experience under ware that is tight can restrict everyone from getting the pants down quickly and getting the job done. Also no tight clothing, lots of snaps, zippers , overhauls and belts are frustrating for them to maneuver quickly. The object is for them to feel confident waiting to get to the potty and sitting down independently , with no restrictions. I am also not a fan of overly fancy pottys, but some children really do well using them. Some parents like using Pull ups but I think if a child knows they can use the potty in them they will, it's just like a diaper. Wearing under ware lets them feel the sensation of being wet and uncomfortable. I do think pull ups can be handy if you are not comfortable taking them out in under ware. You should get used to using public bathrooms a lot , so be prepared with anything you might need. And of course diapers at night, the nighttime training will not be finished for a while yet.

Now you can start going potty every 20 min to 1/2 hr. Expalin what it feels like to need to go potty and how to stop and go to the bathroom. I like the idea of a star chart, stickers or a treat for each successful potty. You can give one M&M for pee pee and two for poo poo. Consistency is the key. So final tips :

  • Look for signs of readiness.

  • Keep clothing easy and complicated.

  • Make a mental note of fluid intake.

  • Explain the need to go feeling.

  • Take them to the potty a lot and say "Time to go potty" or "Do you need to go potty.

  • Lots of praise and reinforcement ! We had a potty song and dance !

  • If they need privacy let them have it.

  • Go potty together.

  • Don't be house bound, potty training can be done anywhere

  • Have them go potty before you leave the house.

  • Be consistent.

  • Be calm and confident.

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