Potty training is a major turning point for both the child and his or her parents. Unfortunately, it does not always go as smoothly as parents would want and requires a lot of patience and understanding. Just as important is to choose the right time because potty training the child too early can create the opposite effect from the one desired leaving both the child and his or her parents frustrated. Keep in mind, however, that the readiness to be potty trained varies greatly from one child to another. So do not feel compelled to potty train your child just because your friends’ children are already potty trained.
Here are a few tips and facts about potty training you may find useful when you decide to start the training process.
Introduce benefits of the potty to your child. If you want to succeed, your child needs to understand that using the potty offers benefits for him or her. Talk about the advantages of the potty as much as possible but avoid talking about it too much. A great time to introduce the benefits of the potty to your child is during a diaper change because he or she is more likely to understand the disadvantages of wearing diapers such as being wet and smelly. Tell your child how big he or she is and that he or she soon will not fit into diapers, etc. but be sure not to make your child feel bad or ashamed for wearing diapers.
Reward your child when he or she is using the potty. Children feel proud when they learn a few potty tricks but they may lose interest in the potty if their “big accomplishments” remain unnoticed. Praise your child when he or she uses or shows interest in the potty.
Make the potty a routine. Place your child on the potty at least two times a day, always at the same time even if he or she does not have the urge. This will help your child associate certain times of the day with the potty and eventually, he or she will develop a potty routine.
Do not force your child on the potty. Not all children are ready to be potty trained at the same age. Some start using the potty at a very young age, while the others need more time. Forcing a child who is not ready yet on the potty will not work and may even prolong the transition from diapers to the potty.
Review your approach. If you child seems ready to be potty trained but you just cannot achieve success, it may be necessary to review your approach. Ask yourself if you were perhaps demanding too much from your child and consider using different methods if the current ones simply are not working.
Be patient. It takes some time for children to be potty trained, so be patient and understanding. Also, keep in mind that daytime dryness does not necessarily mean diaper-free life because it takes much longer for children to develop the ability to stay dry throughout the night.
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