Because every child is different and every child develops in his own way, you cannot expect what worked with your elder child to work with your new baby or what worked with your friends' kids to work for yours.
I know that the idea of ditching diapers is so appealing but bear in mind that potty training is not always easy & fast and having a baby who is able to use the toilet isn't less demanding...
Be sure to follow some general tips and always customize actions to fit each child and be certain that with every child you'll have a completely new and different experience.
There is no definite age for potty training, think of the countries where diapers don't really exist !! or where they are a luxury and not every family can afford them! in this case, parents follow their baby's non verbal signals that show that a toilet break is needed. Basically, it's the parents who are being trained rather than the babies.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), tots really can’t tell they need to use the bathroom until they’re at least a year old and can’t hold it until they’re 18 months or older. So as to avoid disappointments, rejections, unwanted reactions and of course messy floors, just wait until your child is at least 18 months before embarking onto the potty training mission.
I used to dread potty training until my girl reached the age of two and less than 5 months, then, we, her Doctor and myself, were sure that she was ready. How did we know that she was ready or almost at least? He asked me some questions & based on the answers we presumed that she might be ready.
Below are some questions, a couple of which our pediatrician had asked and a couple more that i found while researching. You might not be able to give definite answers but approximate always works. If you have a child who is 18 months and older and you are about to start potty training check the below and try to relate.
- Can your child walk fully on his own?
- Does your child stay dry for at least two continuous hours, especially during the day?
- Is your child usually dry when he wakes from his day-time nap?
- Can you decode your child's non verbal signs
- Is child's bowel movements regular?
- Does your child try to imitate other family members in the bathroom?
- Does your child seem uncomfortable with soiled diapers and want to be changed?
- Does your child hate or like his diaper?
- Have you answered the questions? did they help you know if your child is ready or not?
Good to mention that some people do the potty training on 2 stages, toilet during the day or when at home and nappy at night or while out of the house. It's a personal choice as both ways of "implementation" have their benefits and drawbacks. I can only think of some benefits and drawbacks as tabled below.
- kids who are used to nappies won't be shocked of the sudden change
- ensures that no accidents might happen at night or once out of the house
- process will be prolonged
- kids might be confused
- kids might find having a diaper on easier and stop doing an effort to go to the toilet, sometimes moms do the same and find it easier than running to public toilets
All that said, if you decide you want to try to potty train your baby, there’s no reason not to give it a try but remember to keep it realistic. you might be disappointed of the results, mostly because you have a preformed image of the process or you might even be surprised of your child's readiness and cooperation.
Tips to ease the process before & during
- Before you start the process, it does help to prepare your child. You can buy him potty training stories, short, simple, colorful, expressive and right to the point.
- You can get him a musical potty or a colorful themed one, he will probably be much more encouraged to use it.
- During the process, encouragement is very important, keep on hand small toys and treats & reward him when he gets it right and when it goes wrong, do not demotivate him, keep on the encouragement that accidents do happen, next time would be better and you can do it. Treats might include toys, stickers, stamps, or small stories. Don't get tempted into treating your kids with sweets as you will be encouraging a bad habit, as they will link having a chocolate bar or a candy stick to succeeding or finishing a task correctly. As an upscale reward you can take them to the shop and let them choose their treat by themselves, once they hit a milestone :)
- Inform your child's teacher that you're starting the process so she would be able to help you.
- Reduce the intake of liquids late in the afternoon or at least 2 hours before your child's bedtime and have him go to the toilet directly before bed.
- Try to keep a kind of disposable potties in the car as to use when needed, this will spare you a lot of trouble and speed up the process, you might as well give the potty a name :) :)
I hope you liked today's topic and tips.
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