One of the biggest milestones that you face as a parent is the process of potty training with your child. Forget the sleepless nights, colic, tons of bottles, and endless diapers. Potty training has been said to make or break a parent. Below I’ve included a few ABC tips, to help you on your “Journey to the Potty“!
What is the goal of potty training? To help your children learn to use the toilet and become self-sufficient in one of the most basic self-help skills, but like anything worth doing, this process takes time.
To accomplish potty training, you must keep in mind the most important factors: timing, pace, and most of all, routine. If you try potty training before a child is truly ready, all you will accomplish is frustration for both of you.
You will begin to see signs when your child is ready to start this process. They will “hide” when they need to have a bowel movement. Their bowel movements become around the same time every day.They will finally begin to hate the feeling of a wet diaper. Keep the training gradual and at a pace that is comfortable for your child. Don’t try everything all at once. Let your child sit on the potty for a few minutes every morning when they first wake up. Let them sit on the potty before their nightly bath or right before they go to bed. Two or three minutes at the start is a good pace, then gradually increase both of the times that you take your child into the bathroom and the amount of time they stay on the potty.
Routine is essential; every habit starts with a routine. The whole reason that you really need that candy bar at 3PM isn’t because you are hungry, it’s because it has become your routine. Your chances of accomplishing potty training with your child are greater when you establish a routine. Because of this your child will get the idea fairly quickly with, what the potty is, what to do and why they’re in the bathroom.
Potty training is difficult for most parents and children. Believing in the process will help you through the times that you doubt your child will ever “get it” and become potty trained. Believe that it will happen.
Belief in the process will carry you through all of the accidents and setbacks. Patience is vital. It’s so hard to believe and hold onto patience when you are scrubbing the carpet or sofa for the hundredth time after your child had an accident while potty training.
Help your child believe, too. Give your child loads of praise and encouragement, even when there are accidents, tears, and outright refusals. The encouragement can make all the difference in the process.
This is perhaps the hardest of all. It’s so easy to want to just give up when your child has absolutely no interest in the potty or screams bloody murder whenever you try to take them into the bathroom. These are signs that your child simply isn’t ready to begin the process. Wait a couple of weeks and ease into it again.
Keep with it as persistence is crucial to potty training. It is rarely accomplished in a week (yes, I’ve heard some friends say that their children were potty trained in a week, and I wanted to smack them just as you probably have as well). It all depends on your child. You know them by now. They are stubborn and will do what they want when they want. Help your child establish his or her own potty training goals in their own style.
While I doubt there’s anyone who actually likes the potty training process, this necessary rite of passage can be accomplished with believing and just sticking with the routine. Praise yourself just as you praise your child. You can do it!