Training for potty training

Just the phrase “potty training” may send you into a tizzy, but relax, breathe deeply, and know that it’s really not a cause for panic or even dismay.  A lot of very useful suggestions are available to make the process painless for both trainer and trainee.

The first step is timing, so look for the signs that your child is physically and psychologically ready to begin training.  On average, children reach this point between the ages of 18 and 24 months, but that’s just a guideline.  Some may need longer, so have patience; don’t try to force it.  If your child is showing interest in the grown-up toilet, tells you in words or expression that he or she has already gone or needs to go, and/or if the child can pull his or her pants down and back up again, it’s probably time to begin potty training.

To make the transition easier for everyone, make sure you have comfortable potty chairs, in the plural.  In the bathroom, you could encourage your child to sit on the potty chair while you’re using the toilet, and at other times such as after meals and before bedtime and before getting in the car.  Try to make sure there’s a potty available on short notice, to minimize ‘accidents’ and make it as easy as possible for the child to get in the habit of using it.  Experts also recommend keeping one in your vehicle once the child has become accustomed to its use.

The very best thing you can do, besides being patient and consistent in your potty training routine, is to encourage your child with praise when he or she tries, even if the attempt is not a complete success.  Remember that your child is not resisting potty training or having accidents just to annoy you, and don’t punish or berate them for failures.  “You’re learning, how wonderful.  Pretty soon you’ll be using the toilet just like the big kids”.  Something along those lines works much better than scolding.

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