Potty training is one of the major milestones in your child’s life, and it comes with numerous benefits. It is an accomplishment that marks the beginning of your child’s journey toward independence and self-sufficiency. Through potty training, your little one will develop a sense of control and responsibility over their own bodies, which is an important step towards becoming self-sufficient adults.
When is the right time to start?
Many new parents are unsure about the best time to begin toilet training for their kids. While most kids show readiness to start potty training between the ages of 18 months and 3 years old, other kids might not until a little bit older. Age isn’t the only element to consider when deciding when to start potty training for your little one. The ideal age for potty training varies considerably from child to child and is influenced by both their physical and emotional aspects. Your child will get there on their own schedule after a good amount of practice. Here are 7 tips to help your child start their potty training journey.
1. Prepare your child
Potty training requires your child’s cooperation to proceed, therefore you must set them up for success in advance. Take your youngster with you when you go potty shopping and let them pick one of their favourite potty seats – this will pique your child’s interest and excitement. You can even go ahead and purchase additional potties and store them in your home so that the infant can conveniently use them once they get bored with the initial one. When compared to one that sits on top of the toilet, many kids feel more confident starting with one that sits on the floor. They feel more safe and in better balance because they can put their feet firmly on the ground, which makes it less frightening for them.
Here are a few tips to get them prepared:
- Get your little one ready by explaining the procedure to them before they are ready to try the potty.
- Teach your kid a few words like “I need to go,” “I poo,” and “pee” to describe the act of using the bathroom.
- Ask your kid to alert you if a nappy is soiled or damp.
- Recognise behaviours to help your youngster learn to identify poop and pee urges.
- When your child has to poop, empty it from their diaper into the toilet and explain to them that poop belongs in the potty.
- In potty training withholding poop should be taught as a big NO.
2. Set a timing
Take advantage of your child’s daily routine if they tend to go to the toilet at the same time every day, like first thing in the morning. Keep their diaper off and advise them to use the restroom as soon as possible, or after a meal if they typically go there. Additionally, you may begin to notice when they are ready to urinate and be able to quickly persuade them to use the loo.
It’s crucial to potty train your infant on a daily basis as you first begin. Start with a 15-minute break, then gradually extend it to 30 minutes and ultimately an hour. As with daily tasks, you should set an alarm or keep a reminder for this because it can be easy to forget.
Another method of accomplishing this is to keep your kid on the toilet for 30 minutes after eating or taking a bath. Once a routine is established, your youngster will begin to indicate when they have to pee or poop within a few weeks.
Ensure that all carers, such as grandparents, babysitters, and childcare providers, adhere to the same schedule and terminology when it comes to body parts and personal hygiene. Tell them how you’re going about potty training, and encourage them to follow suit so your youngster isn’t confused.
If you’re concerned about your baby is having difficulty pooping, speak to the best pediatric doctor in Dubai
3. Make hand washing interesting
As soon as your child starts using the potty, start teaching them about hand washing and general cleanliness. It’s a good idea to explain to them why it’s crucial to wash your hands after using the loo in order to prevent the spread of bacteria and bugs. You might try to make it more enjoyable by using fun soaps that have their favorite characters or shapes – kids love colorful and toy-shaped soaps. You can try turning handwashing into a game by challenging your child to wash their hands faster or make as many bubbles as possible. Another creative way is to remove the label of the hand wash bottle or transfer the liquid into a separate bottle that has stickers of their favourite cartoon or glitter.
4. Have fun together
Sitting on the toilet and learning to use it doesn’t have to be a tedious activity. Tell your child a story or read a book to them while they are sitting on the potty to help them pass the time and feel more relaxed. Allow your child to play with a few small toys while sitting on the potty to keep them entertained and make the process of potty training more fun for them. You can play games like “I Spy” with your child by taking turns spotting items in the bathroom and describing them to each other. Another game you could try is acting out bathroom-related actions or items (e.g. flushing the toilet, washing hands), where your child has to guess what you are mimicking and vice-versa. These fun activities will encourage your child and they might even start looking forward to it every day.
5. Pick a standard spot
In the initial days, training your kid to potty in the bathroom directly could be a hell of a task and sometimes could lead to accidents if not careful. Therefore, it is best to set the potty seat in a corner of your house – which should be kept standard. Having a standard spot for potty training helps your child develop a routine and understand what their task is. Consistency is key to successful potty training, and having a standard spot allocated just for potty helps to create a consistent and familiar environment for your child. This can help them feel more at ease and confident during the potty training process. It can also ensure that your child has easy access to the spot whenever they need it.
6. Transition slowly with training pants
By using training pants, you can gradually transition your child from diapers to underwear. This can help them feel more comfortable and make the transition seem like a piece of cake. Training pants can also be of great help in encouraging your child to be independent in their potty training process – allowing them to practice pulling their pants up and down. This in turn will help them gain confidence and control over their bathroom habits.
7. Offer praise and rewards
Keep a positive attitude and encourage your child. Congratulate them for trying or for using the toilet successfully. The majority of toddlers respond favourably to lots of praise and encouragement and are more likely to request to use the toilet or potty on their own. A reward or sticker chart may also elicit an enthusiastic response from your child.
Your patience and your child’s focus are equally needed for potty training. Your toddler will eventually learn to use the potty when they are ready, just like with many other stages of child development.
Reward them by planning a special outing such as a playdate with their friends or going to the park after they have achieved a potty training milestone. Praise your child regularly for their efforts as it can be a powerful motivator. You can show your appreciation by giving them a high-five or a hug. You can also create a potty training chart with your child and let them decorate it with colours and paints.
Any attempts to use the loo should be commended, even if nothing happens. Keep in mind that mishaps will occur. It’s crucial to refrain from harsh and forceful potty-training or expressing disappointment when they urinate on themselves or the bed. Instead, explain that it was an accident and give your child your support. The training sessions may get tedious as a result of repeated falls and fails and this is when you must remain composed. Because if you lose patience, your little one may lose theirs very soon. If necessary, take a brief rest, and try to keep a positive attitude while continuing the programme. Tell your youngster that they are on the right track to using the potty like big kids.
If you have any questions related to your child’s poop or their potty training, speak to the best pediatrician in Dubai for advice.
About Dr. Medhat Abu-Shaaban: He is an award-winning American Board Certified Pediatrician with over 32 years of experience in pediatrics spanning the United States (where he completed his Residency in Pediatrics at the University of Maryland Hospital and established a private practice for 20 years), Jordan, and the UAE. He currently serves as the Pediatrician and Medical Director at myPediaclinic – Pediatric clinic in Dubai, where he employs cutting-edge technology. Previously, he was an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University and a Clinical Advisor for the medical school and the nurse practitioner programme at Johns Hopkins Hospital.