Potty Training

As a new parent, it might seem almost impossible to imagine your kid taking in-charge of his potty routine. You need not fret; potty training is no rocket science. Read on for helpful tips on potty training.

Last Updated: 22 October 2020

Potty Training
Potty Training

You changed your baby’s diaper just a few minutes ago and here he is weeping again of wetting. While this could have been a common scenario in your new parenthood life, when the baby is over a year, you might begin to worry how to potty train your kid. Here are a few good-to-know potty training tips from experts.

When to start potty training

During your baby’s infant days, you could closely guess when he would turn over or when he would take his first step. However, unlike other developmental milestones, potty training age cannot be precisely predicted. Some kids show readiness to potty train at as early as 15 months, while most toddlers don’t get into the saddle until they turn two, or even three. Complicating your anticipation, your baby’s gender could also influence when to potty train your child. In general, girls are prepared for potty training earlier than boys of the same age and in fact, can pick up the skill relatively faster.

Signs your child is ready to potty train

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Given the wide stretch over the age to potty train, from 15 months to 3 years, it is advisable to every parent to look for these signs of potty training readiness in the child.

  • Your child identifies his urge to pee and poop, and communicates it verbally or through signs and gestures.
  • Your child begins to feel uncomfortable peeing and pooping in the diaper. He expresses his annoyance every time he has to do it or hides himself somewhere.
  • Your child shows interest by asking you questions like how food converts to poop or about using the toilet.

In addition to signs for readiness, you must also consider how physically developed your child is, to decide when to potty train.

  • Your child’s dexterity is developed enough to pull down and pull up his pants by himself.
  • Your child is able to convey in words or signs, either before or after peeing and pooping. 
  • Your child can listen to your instructions and is willing to obey you. 
  • Your child can sit on a potty or a baby seat with or without support. 
  • Your child can stay dry for a minimum of a couple of hours.

Your child need not check on all of the points above or perhaps, exhibits something unique, not listed above, which relates to his readiness to potty train. You are the best to understand what your child feels about, in this regard. The key to potty training is to wait until you feel convinced about your child’s preparedness. Remember, hurrying in haste, for an early potty training can be stressful to both you and your child.

How to start potty training

You are quite close to taking that big step for your child now. The next question on your mind is how to potty train your kid? Though there are no written protocols for potty training, you must mentally adapt to these unsaid rules before you begin potty training for your child:

Sound like it is a natural phenomenon From the time you begin to speak to your little one about potty training, sound unpretentious about it. Let your child perceive peeing and pooping as a natural process which happens to everyone. This can help him understand that he need not feel ashamed or embarrassed of it and that it is normal to inform his parents or caretakers when he feels the urge to pee and poop.

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It is okay to let him watch you do it Children learn best when they watch us do; potty training need not be an exception. It can be easier for them to imitate what you do than to follow your verbal instructions. Occasionally, allow him to play in the bathtub while you are in the toilet so that he gets a chance to observe how you do it.

Allow enough time for your child to grasp Even though you assumed your child is ready for potty training, you may come across setbacks in your child’s learning ability. Some children need to listen to an instruction for at least a month before they decide to put it to action one day, all of a sudden. Others learn the entire process, step by step, over several days. Irrespective of how your child learns, give him the time to absorb what is expected of him.

As a first step, choose what kind of potty setup you want to introduce to your child. Some parents buy an adapter child seat that goes on top of the regular adult seat in the toilet. Some prefer to buy a separate child training potty which is portable and comes in different shapes and colors. Imagine which can excite your child and do the necessary shopping.

As the next step, follow the sequence below:

  • To begin potty training, choose a phase when there are no stress-causing situations happening in the family, like a new baby, starting school or a new house. 
  • From a few days before you plan to introduce the potty, start talking to your child casually about the purpose of the potty. 
  • When your child is able to stay dry for a few hours, skip the diapers and instead wear him training underpants. 
  • Check at regular intervals with your child if he wants to pee. Initially, for a few days or weeks, it may not strike his mind to inform you when he wants to pee or poop. 
  • When you sense him signal the urgency, gently guide him to use the potty. Let him watch where the mess goes into and how it is cleaned. 
  • Repeat it at all possible opportunities until he can associate and demonstrate what he has learnt with confidence. 
  • How to potty train a boy

    Potty training boys and potty training girls can be different kinds of experiences for parents. Here are some potty training tips for boys: 

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    • The best way to potty train a boy is to let him sit down to pee. With a small penis, it can be difficult to direct where the wee goes; hence it is wise to make him sit and do it until he learns the basics of potty learning. 
    • Once he can make himself stable in the sitting position, help him stand up on a low stool so that he can practice his aim at the toilet water. Look for O-cereals which are commonly used for this purpose. Keep in mind that he is not going to get at it without making a mess of your bathroom. 
    • If you have an open backyard, let your boy try urinating on a tree before he can adapt his learning to the toilet setting. 
    • When you are outside, allow him to use public restrooms so that he gets used to kids urinals. Do not forget to teach him to wash his hands before leaving the restroom.

    How to potty train a girl

    Girls are known to be easier trainees for parents, for one of the reasons being that girls tend to sit at one place longer than the restless boys. Yet, if you are looking for potty training tips for girls, here they are: 

    • One thing that makes potty training different in girls is that, the wiping needs to be taught to be done from the front to the back. This prevents the poopy mess from entering the front which can spell urinary tract infections. 
    • While boys tend to hold their penis when they get the urge to pee, girls show the signs by crossing their legs or wiggling their feet. 
    • Girls who like pretend play games can be encouraged to make baby dolls poop inside the dollhouse toilet. 

    In spite of understanding how potty training works, it can at times be frustrating for parents, especially when you are expected to guide your children every single time. You may prefer to resign to diapers; however, a little patience to wait for a little while can make this important transition in your child’s and in your life, easy. 

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