Goodbye Diapers: A Guide to Potty Training
Are you looking forward to saying goodbye to diaper changing? You must be very excited. After all, it is a significant development milestone. Not to mention the time, money, and effort to maintain diapering supplies and changing your child’s diaper. However, the question is – Is your child ready to ditch his nappies?
What is Potty Training?
Potty Training is the practice of teaching a child to use the potty when he/she needs to pee or poop.
When Should You Start Potty Training Your Child?
You may ask what is the best age to start potty training. Actually, there is no specific age when a child should start. It all depends on the child’s physiological, developmental, and behavioural readiness. Most children show signs of readiness as early as 18 months. If your child is already 18 months and has not started potty training, there's no need to worry and rush it. It is best to check the following signs if your child is ready to start.
Signs Your Child is Ready for Potty Training:
Here are the signs to look out for:
· Can already walk and stay seated for short periods.
· Can pull down and put back on his shorts or pants.
· Shows independence.
· Displays interest to watch people using the potty.
· Has dry nappies for two hours.
· Can say and signal that he needs to pee or poop.
· Shows dislike for wearing diaper especially when it is wet or soiled.
· Can follow simple instructions.
· Has regular and predictable bowel movements.
How to Potty Train Your Toddler
1. Prepare the equipment and the supplies your child may need during the toiler training.
Here is a list of the items you need to have in the home.
a. Potty Chair
There are different potty chairs available in the market. You may select from a potty that has a flush or potty that needs to be emptied. There are some potties with a cover, while some do not have a lid.
Why is there a need for a potty chair? Potty chairs mimic the actual toilet, but it fits your child little bum perfectly because it is small. Also, potty chairs are suitable for their height so that their feet are touching the floor and are flat.
You can ask your child to help choose the colour and design he/she would like to have.
b. Toilet Seats
Another option to use is toilet seats. These are smaller-sized toilet seats that you can put on your regular toilet. Some of the toilet seats come with steps that assist toddlers in climbing the toilet.
You may opt for toilet seats if you want to avoid the clean-up potty chairs require and if you don’t have space for a separate potty.
c. Step Stool or Chair
Washing hands after using the toilet is part of potty training. To assist your child reach the sink and soap, you should place a step stool or chair that he can step on.
You can also place a stool or chair in front of your toilet if your child’s toilet seat does not come with steps.
d. Training pants
You can start the transition by letting your child wear training pants. Training pants are similar to underwear, except that it is more absorbent. However, do not expect the training pants to have the same absorbency as diapers.
If you want a more mess-proof option, try disposable training pants or pull-ups instead. It is absorbent like a diaper, but it is easier to pull down if the child can use the toilet. It comes in very handy during errands or travels.
Once the child is more comfortable using the potty, you can switch the training pants to underwear.
f. Easy-to-wear and easy-to-remove clothes
Choose clothing that your child can pull down on his/her own to lessen the chances of “accidents.” Opt for dresses, garterized shorts, or pants.
g. Toilet target
If you want to teach your boy to pee standing up, the toilet target may help him aim correctly.
You may want to buy a separate child-sized urinal for your child. However, please expect that it will be messy, especially for younger kids.
i. Splash Guard
Splash Guard can help sprays of pee when you teach your little boy to pee sitting down. In addition, you may not need to separate if you choose potty chairs or potty seats with built-in splash guards.
j. Cleaning Materials
Expect mess in the course of the potty training. It’s recommended to keep your cleaning supplies within reach in case of “accidents.”
Have a waterproof mattress pad under your bedsheets to protect your mattress during naptime and nighttime. You will need extra bedsheets handy, too, in case of “accidents.”
2. Prepare your child.
Before you start with the actual potty training, here are some ideas on how you can prepare your child.
a. Read books about using the potty.
b. Teach your child to say when he/she needs to use the toilet.
Teach your child simple words such as pee, poop, or I need to go. Then, you can label and use these words whenever the child does the act in the toilet.
c. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
Ensure that your child is hydrated by drinking lots of water and eating fibre-rich food.
d. Let your child sit on the potty.
You can ask your child to sit on the potty even with their clothes on so that he/she becomes familiar with it.
e. Put training pants on.
Have your child wear training pants or underwear a few times a day so that he/she gets, feels and connects peeing and wetness.
3.Observe your child.
Watch your child and watch for mannerisms or signs whenever he/she feels the need to use the toilet. For example, you may notice that he/she may appear uneasy, fidgeting, crouching or holding his/her genitals. Bring your child to the potty if he/she shows any of these signs.
4. Include toilet breaks in the child's routine.
Ask your child to sit on the potty or toilet after waking up in the morning or after naps. Take your child to the potty every 2 hours. It is best time trips to the potty before mealtimes and after waking up.
5. Teach about hygiene.
As part of potty training, you need to teach kids good hygiene habits such as flushing the toilet after use, wiping from front to back, and washing hands properly.
6. Be patient.
Potty training may take weeks or months, with accidents and spills in between. It may feel frustrating on your end, but you need to extend your patience. If it is a constant struggle and fighting to go to the toilet, you should revisit your child’s readiness and pause the potty training. Then, re-start when your child is ready to give it a go.
7. Encourage your child.
Cheer your child on and acknowledge him/her whenever he/she can use the potty. Maintain a positive mood even though your child missed and peed on his/her underwear. Reassure your child that he/she can do it through practice.
We hope that this blog post will benefit and help you in potty training your little one. We are rooting for you and your child!
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