Where did the time go? It feels like just yesterday you were figuring out how to change a diaper and now your child is ready to ditch them altogether to start the potty training process.
Parents typically start the potty training process somewhere between 2 and 3 years old. That is the time that your child is old enough to communicate that they need to go and understand what going on the potty means.
But potty training is far from an easy task. Some children take to it right away without much of an issue at all, while others take a lot of time! If you and your child are having a little trouble, here are some tips that might make potty training a little easier.
Figure out what motivates your child.
Just like how every child takes to potty training in their own time, every child is motivated by something a little different. There are the obvious motivators like candy or toys, but some children won’t respond to those types of rewards. Instead, your child might just want gold stars, some words of encouragement, or even to be just like mommy and daddy.
It is important for you as a parent to identify these motivators and use them in this process. Try to incorporate whatever your child is into (whether it be dinosaurs, princesses, or superheroes) into the process and make adjustments as their interests change… which we all know could happen at a moment’s notice!
Dress them in clothes that allow you quick access.
Even us adults struggle sometimes with complicated belts and buttons on our pants!
During potty training, timing is incredibly important. Right out of the gate, your child might not be able to communicate to you that they need to go until they are right on the brink. Because of this, always dressing them in easy to remove clothes, like sweatpants, makes it easier to get on the toilet quickly! Don’t worry, you can put your child back in those cute little jeans in a few weeks.
If you are met with total resistance, don’t force it.
One mistake that a lot of parents make is trying to force their kids into potty training when they aren’t ready. You might look around and see other kids the same age as your child that are potty trained and think that your child is lagging behind but they aren’t. That’s a totally normal feeling and we understand it is frustrating, but sometimes the child just simply isn’t ready.
If you are met with a little bit of fighting, go ahead and proceed, but if you are finding yourself with a screaming toddler on the toilet with no way to calm them down, it might be a signal that they just aren’t ready and you might need to wait another week or two before starting back up again. Trying to force the situation is just setting yourself up for a long, frustrating and difficult battle.
Ready your patience, and remove the nagging.
As you can see, patience is a big theme throughout this article. Trust us when we say that this can be one of the more frustrating things you are going to go through as a parent and some days it is going to take every bit of your patience.
One thing that often comes with that frustration is nagging. Wet diapers and underwear are going to leave you in a position where you feel like you have to ask your child every few minutes “Do you have to go?” The problem is the more you ask, the more you are going to get a hard “no”. Resist the urge to nag and just try your best to identify signs that your toddler has to go and try your best to keep them on a normal schedule of trying. Eventually, they will learn to communicate their needs to you!
Most daycares (including us) require that children are potty trained by a certain age. While this might seem like you need to start this process right away and that if your child doesn’t grasp it immediately you are failing. It really varies greatly from child to child when and how quickly potty training takes.
Hopefully, these tips will help the process go a little easier and allow you to attack this new challenge together!