The Basics of Potty Training
The best piece of advice anyone can give you in regards to potty training your toddler is to wait until he or she is ready. If you start before your child is ready, you are setting yourself up for failure. If you watch your child closely, you will notice specific signs of readiness. Some of the most common signs include:
- Taking a dirty diaper off without your help
- Informing you that the diaper is dirty
- Showing interest in your bathroom behavior
- Staying dry during naps
- Understanding potty-related words
For a complete list of signs your child is ready for potty training, click here.
Potty Training for Boys
Potty training boys requires a bit more time and patience than it does for girls. Although some boys may be ready as early as 18 months, most are not ready until they are closer to three years old, and sometimes older. When you determine your son is ready to be potty trained, you can take these steps.
- Have him watch and learn. Toddlers learn by imitating, so let him watch how his dad goes to the bathroom.
- Make sure your son can lean forward with his feet on the ground easily to make it easier for him to go.
- Avoid getting any child seats with a urine guard. Although it will prevent his urine from splashing on the floor, it may also scrape his penis, which can be painful.
- Motivate with cool underwear. Make a special trip to the store to buy underwear, take your son with you and let him pick out any kind he wants. Talk about buying “big boy underwear” ahead of time and let him get excited about wearing it.
- Teach him to go while sitting first and then teach him to go while standing.
For more information about potty training for boys, click here.
Potty Training for Girls
Although potty training your daughter may not be as difficult it is with a son, it does still have its challenges.
- Make it fun. Start by shopping for new underwear. Let her pick out what she wants. Also, let her pick out the potty seat she wants. They come in many colors, so it should not be difficult for her to find her favorite, even if it is not pink.
- Teach her to correct position. Her feet need to be flat on the floor and her pelvis should be in a horizontal position.
- Teach proper wiping techniques. Wiping from front to back is important for preventing the spread of bacteria. This technique can be difficult for little girls, so you may have to help her with it for awhile.
- Watch for infections. Since most girls will start wiping from back to front, they can get urinary tract infections easily. Look for signs such as a frequent need to urinate, foul-smelling urine, poor appetite and fever.
For more information about potty training girls, click here.
Potty Training Tips for Both Boys and Girls
- Set up a schedule and stick to it. Timing is important. You may need to stay home for a few days and put your child on the potty every 20 minutes. But, in the end, it will be worth the effort.
- Purchasing the right equipment is a major key to success. Buy a child-sized potty that is not overwhelming for your child and will not make him or her afraid of falling into the toilet.
- Celebrate potty successes. Celebrating every time your child goes on the potty will lead to increased incidents of successful potty usage. It is simple positive reinforcement.
- Do not get discouraged by setbacks. Be patient; every child eventually figures this skill out.
- There is nothing wrong with bribery. Promise your kid something special every time a trip to the potty is successful. It works.
- Make it a game. If you associate going to the potty with fun, it will not be such a challenging task.
The Three-Day Potty Training Method
One technique some parents swear by is the three-day potty training method. As its name suggests, by using this method, your child will be completely potty trained in just three days, with hardly any accidents following its completion. If this method sound perfect for you and your toddler, here is some important information about this method for you.
- This method is based on the idea that if the child does not wear a diaper for catching urine and fecal matter that he or she will be more willing to go on the potty. So be prepared for your little one to run around naked, or at least bottomless, for three days.
- Be prepared to stay at home for three days. No exceptions. Potty training your child takes time, effort and commitment on your part. Get yourself prepared with anything you will need for three days ahead of time, including activities for your kids.
- Children learn from having “accidents” so be prepared to have a lot of them over the three-day time span. During this time praise their efforts and do not punish the accidents.
- Encourage your kids to drink more than usual to induce the need to urinate. If you are worried about the amount of sugar in juice, opt for reduced-sugar varieties or go with milk or water. Any liquid will do, as long as you produce the urge to pee.
- Give your child gentle reminders to go to the bathroom, especially after drinking. If he or she does not want to go, have them try. It sets up the pattern of going when the urge strikes.
- Give your child prizes for accomplishing the goal of going potty. Anything that motivates your child will work.
- Be prepared for training to go on both day and night. Avoid the urge to put diapers on your child when it is time for bed.
Now that you have the basics down for the three-day method, find out how it works here
Potty training your child doesn’t need to be difficult or scary. It simply needs time and commitment. Following these guidelines will get you on the right path to having a happy and potty trained child.