As your baby grows into a big boy or girl, they will be learning all kinds of new things. One thing on the list of big kid know-hows is using the potty! Let's just say some parents love this part, and others not so much. To some toddlers, this comes very easy, and for some, it takes lots of bribing and lots of patience on the parents part.
Potty Training Your Toddler
Before you jump into the unknown sea of potty training, make sure you and your little ones are ready. I would say that is the most important part. If you are prepared, but your toddler is showing signs of not so ready, it won't work. The same goes for you if your toddler seems ready, but you go for it and find out that you are not ready for it, then once again, this is not going to work. You both have to be on board. Once you start you really do not want to look back.
Currently, my youngest is 15 months old (excuse me while I cry for a little) and she enjoys coming with me to the bathroom... yes, I pee with an audience. Anyways, she loves helping to flush and getting the toilet paper, even though its more like unraveling the entire roll, but hey, to her its the same thing. She claps when we're all done and proceeds to help me turn the light off and close the door as we leave. She also likes to sit on the potty before her bath. Even though she does not do anything, she knows that she is supposed to sit there, get off, flush, and clap her hands.
- Tugging at a wet or dirty diaper
- Interest in others' use of the potty or copying the behavior
- Waking up from naps dry
- Making you aware of their movements (they have to go/are going/already gone in their diaper)
Now that you have a toddler readiness checklist, you need a parent readiness tip list :
- encourage imitation
- coordinate your potty training plans with those who will be caring for your child during the day such as grandparents, babysitter, daycare staff, etc. It is super important that they are in the loop and know what process you are using so that your toddler is getting the same message during the day when you are working as they are during the times when you are home.
- prepare a new routine that includes potty breaks often.
When we were potty training my son we always made sure to use the restroom before we left the house, when we got to where we are going, before we left to come home, and again when we got home. Sometime we had to pull over on our way home because he would have to go again in between stops.
Above is just one example of how we arranged to leave the house, once. Some days you have multiple stops to make. Including all the extra stops and steps potty training will entail will give you child the best chance of getting the hang of this easily. The more opportunity you give to use the potty the more willing they are to use it.
4. Accidents are common, and they will happen. Always pack lots of extra clothes if you plan on leaving the house. Do not resort back to diapers to avoid the accidents. This is only going to confuse them and ultimately lead to more accidents.
5. Potty training is not only mastering the 'go, but' it's also figuring out how to wipe properly (unless you plan on doing this part forever), hand washing, dressing, undressing, and flushing. All these steps deserve praise and can be worked on at each potty break. This will help with their confidence in going all by themselves.
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