Positive Potty Training for First Time Parents
March 13, 2019
Parenting is full of wonderful moments, special memories, and love. But there are less fun moments, too – like changing diapers, or waking up for a 3 a.m. feed. Toilet training is one of those childhood stages that no one looks forward to. But it CAN be a positive experience! Let’s talk about how to make potty-training natural, fun, and stress-free.
When to start toilet training
Most children are ready to start potty training around 18 months old. But there are other ways to tell, too!
– Does your child wake from naps with a dry diaper? This is a sign that they are learning to control their movements.
– Does your child seem interested in the bathroom, want to follow you in there, or play with toy potties?
– Does your child get frustrated with wearing nappies or pull-ups?
– Does your child get in trouble in pre-school for not using the potty yet?
Like so many other things, your baby will let you know when they are ready. Follow their example, be patient, and the moment will come.
“It is always easier to help a child do something they are excited about versus something you are forcing them to do.” – The Healthy(ish) Home
Top tips for toilet training
You will find lots of advice in parenting books, online, and from your pediatrician. But here are some quick tips to make the process even easier!
– Monkey see, monkey do. Little kids love to copy what the “grown ups” are doing! Let your child see that going to the bathroom is something normal, and that the bathroom is a room where they can feel comfortable. Some kids find flush toilets a bit scary at first, so it’s important to show them that there is nothing to fear.
– Create a routine. While you are potty training, accidents are bound to happen. But if you can get into a regular routine of spending time in the bathroom every morning and evening, or after meals, you can minimize accidents.
– Positive reinforcement. When your child “goes potty” with success, let them know that you are proud of them! Smile, clap, tell them that they are doing a great job. Sticker reward charts work well for some kids, too.
– Support it with a healthy diet. Make sure your child is well-hydrated and gets plenty of fiber from fruits and vegetables. Constipation or tummy troubles could make them reluctant to go to the bathroom, and you don’t want to set up bad habits.
Do you have any other top tips, or strategies that worked for you? Share in the comments!