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Potty training your toddler is a big moment. In fact, you may have mixed feelings watching your little one growing up and becoming more independent. However, this is a necessary and important step for them to take as they prepare for the big kid world. It’s also essential to complete before they start kindergarten.
The tough part is making the decision to start potty training. How do you know if your little one is ready? If you think it may be time for your toddler to hit this milestone, this step-by-step tip guide can help make the process easier for you.
Know if They’re Ready
Know the signs your child is ready for potty training. Every child is different, so there are multiple signs you can look for to determine if it’s time for your little one. For example, if they show an interest when you go to the washroom, or if they are starting to poop and pee on their own predictable schedule, they’re probably ready. Make sure that they are capable of following basic instructions, such as pulling their pants down and putting their underwear back on.
Be Prepared For What’s Coming
Once your child is ready, it’s time to prepare, mentally and physically. This isn’t going to be an easy process, but it’s an important one. Get the right equipment – that means finding the right potty, and setting it up in an easy place for your kiddo to see and access.
Develop a Potty Mouth
When you’re ready, start bringing up the idea of using the potty more prominently around your child. That means talking about using the potty in conversation more often. Say things like, “Mommy has to pee-pee, so I’m going to the potty.” The goal is to raise awareness about going to the potty and peak their interest in the concept of using the washroom.
Get The Timing Right
Don’t try to start potty training if your family is going through a particularly stressful time, like moving or going through a family issue. Your child should be relaxed and on a regular routine for the best potty training results. They are learning a new skill after all. Another thing to be sure of is that you’re giving it enough time. There’s a 3-day potty training method going around right now, thanks to a book by Lora Jensen, but it’s not for everyone. Go at a pace that works for you and your toddler.
Make Sure They’re Using a Big Kid Bed
The goal of potty training is to get your child to use the washroom independently, so they should be sleeping in a big kid bed so they can get out and pee whenever they need to. They will need to have access to the potty at all times, even if you’re asleep, so they shouldn’t be relying on you to get them in and out of their bed.
Lead by Example
A great place to get started with the actual potty training is to show them how it’s done. We don’t mean crouching down and using the potty, though. Let your child see you on the toilet and let them sit, fully clothed, on the potty so they can mimic you. Build up to the idea of showing them how to remove their clothing and sit properly. Let them do this every two hours or so to get them on a schedule.
Reward, Don’t Punish
The last thing you should remember is to reward or praise your little one when they use the potty properly, but don’t punish them if they don’t, or if they have an accident. Some parents choose to use a sticker chart, while others use positive words. Accidents aren’t your child’s fault. They are just learning, and if you go hard on them, they may become scared to ever use the potty, which can backfire on the whole process. Let them learn and grow.