As you may or may not know, potty training is a pretty stressful time for both parents as well as the child who is potty training. Some kids have no problems potty training while others seem to take forever to get in the habit. A lot of parents question whether or not their child is ready. One way to tell if your child is ready for potty training would be to see if he stays dry all through the night. If your child goes to bed with a dry diaper and wakes up with a dry diaper then chances are he is ready. It usually takes a lot of preparing, planning, practice and praise to get the job done!
To start the journey off right you will want to start preparing your little one some weeks in advance. You can do this in many different ways. One great way to prepare your child would be take several trips to the potty each day. Show your child how to set up his step stool in front of the potty if he is too short to reach. You should also show them how to raise the toilet seat carefully as to not bump their fingers in the process. One of the best suggestions would be to allow your child to flush the toilet a few times each day to ge them used to the flushing noise. That loud noise is usually the part that scares the little ones. As they are flushing the toilet show them how cool the water looks as it is rushing down the drain. This should help the child to get comfortable with the noise. Some parents allow their child into the bathroom as they (the parent) uses the potty. If the child sees someone else using the potty they will most likely want to try it also.
Planning ahead will also help to speed up the process a bit. Think about how many times a day your child soils his diaper. Each day record the time your child wets or dirties his diaper. At the end of the week take a look back through the times and see if there is a pattern. This pattern will give you a good hint as to how often you need to put your child on the potty when you start the process. A good time frame would be at least 1 time every hour.
When both you and your child are ready to begin you will need to pick a day to start. Be sure you are both ready as this can be a pretty stressful time. One thing that is always suggested is to print off a “potty chart“. Be sure to have some small reward stickers to go with the chart. Each time your child “goes” on the potty let him add a sticker to his chart. The kids usually love this part. Once your child gets a few stickers for the day be sure to give him a reward of some sort. Most parents give a piece of candy or small toy. This will make them want to use the potty so they can get something out of it. One big thing to remember is to always give him praise. Even if he doesn’t “go” you should still praise him for trying. This will build up their confidence. With enough praise and practice he will be a pro in no time.
Please remember that potty training is stressful for the child just as it is for the parent. Another thing to remember is to ENCOURAGE not DISCOURAGE! If your child has an accident do not yell at him or punish him. This will just discourage him and possibly take you all the way back to the beginning. If your child has an accident just get him cleaned up and then sit him on the potty for at least 1 or 2 minutes. Hand him a book, it will help.
Potty training takes time and is not something that can be accomplished overnight. With a good plan, a lot of praise, and some practice you and your child will get through it in no time. Rememeber, if you give up and get frustrated he will too! Keep up the good work and happy potty training!