Potty training toddlers is often one of the most difficult times for the parent and for the child. It is imperative to keep the process as tension free as possible to ensure that your child has a positive experience with it. The more you know what you are doing and what to expect, the less tension filled it will be for you and your child.
What you need to realize in the beginning of the process is that your child is the one in control of their bowel movements. It is actually one of the only things the child is in control of and it is very hard for many parents to deal with the toilet training in a positive way.
That is because WE feel we need to always be in control of our children. There are studies however, that show that the more relaxed you are in your potty training the better off it will be for your child in the long run. Selma Friberg is the author of the very well known The Magic Years: Understanding and Handling the Problems of Early Childhood. In it she talks about children and potty training. She explains how it can become a control issue as young children are the ones in control of their bodies and some parents have a very difficult time with this by trying to control their toddler.
The more we give up control of the potty training, the less the children will try to wrest control away from us by creating power struggles. (And who knows maybe they’ll listen to use when they are teenagers)
What is the right age to potty train your child
The first thing you may want to know is when to start potty training your child. Most people today do not start before the child is walking and even talking a big. However, there are actually people today who want to know about infant potty training. Most child psychologists, backed by the the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that it is generally around age 2 that is a good time to begin potty training your little boys and girls.
The only situation I heard of that tried baby potty training was friend of mine who was born in Russia many years ago. In those times there were no diapers, not even cloth diapers. It was very important for these mothers therefor, to try to get their babies trained really young. The way they would do that was to put the babies on a small toilet and sit with them until they actually peed or defecated. This is not recommended in today’s day and age.
Age 2 is not cut in stone. Even though most parents are potty training toddlers, there are different children with different temperaments and parents with different schedules and agendas. I have 6 children and one of them was trained when he was 3 1/2 while another was trained at 22 months. There are many different variables that will determine the success of your child’s potty training.
Are there special potty training tips for boys as opposed to tips for girls
I’ve heard many people say that it is much harder to train boys then it is to train girls. Just because a girls and boys anatomy’s are different however, does not mean that there are different methods for each gender.
I personally found that it had mostly to do with my attitude and the nature of the child. I also found that the earlier you start the less of a power struggle it becomes.
Even though most boys end up standing when they pee, when they are being potty trained they usually learn sitting down. Some little boys who have older brothers or see other men using the toilet standing up may decide that they want to pee standing up. It is good to always give them a choice so they don’t feel pressured to do it one way. Almost all potty training tips and advice is good for both genders.
How to know when your child is ready to be potty trained
There are two ways to deal with your child being ready to be toilet trained. Either you wait until you see the signs or you will try to potty train on your schedule by using one of the methods we will talk about below.
If you have time and are a stay at home mom then you have the luxury of being able to do this in a relaxed manner. If you have another family member or nanny that is going to be doing the potty training, make sure you go over with them the methods that you want to use. If your child is in a day care center or at a babysitter, you may have to depend on them to do the training.
There are a few things your child may do that will alert you to the fact that they may be ready to be potty trained.
Of course, all of these things don’t have to happen at the same time and some of these things may never happen but, if a few do, you will know it’s a good time to start.
If you do catch this particular interest from your child then start working on it right away for as they grow older they are not being trained anymore, they just decide to use the bathroom. When children get trained very young they learn to ask to use the bathroom when they feel an urge. As they grow older, it becomes more of a power struggle and they know what they have to do, they just don’t want to.
I have great story that illustrates this concept>I had been training my daughter who was about 22 months. She had shown an interest and it was going pretty well. One day we went to an amusement park with the family. Before the long ride home I put a diaper on her so we would not have to stop. 10 minutes into our journey she started crying that “she had to pee”. I told her to make in her diaper. She could not comprehend what I was saying because she was trained to go on the potty. Needless to say we had to stop at a gas station so this 22 month old little girl could go to the bathroom.
I really do believe that the child of mine that was trained at 31/2 was not more difficult than the other children, Its just that I was working full time when he was at the stage and did not have the time or patience to allow it to take its course naturally. When he became potty trained it was because he decided it was time to use the toilet as opposed to being trained.
Potty training tips for the stay at home Mom
If you are home most of the time and want to attempt to potty train your toddler without any of the newer methods then there are some useful tips I can give you based on my toilet training my 6 children. As noted, my younger children got the benefit of my experiences and were trained earlier than any of my older children.
As soon as your child makes on the floor you need to tell him or her “No, not on the floor, in the potty” (be very friendly and upbeat about it) Then you give him or her her some paper towels to help clean up. This part is very important. Even though you will be there cleaning up with her or him, they will learn that when they make on the floor they will be cleaning it up. They will also learn that you will NOT get angry when they make on the floor. It is very important never to push or punish your child over this. The more relaxed you are about this, the better it will be for your child in the long run.
Each time they make in the potty you can clap and yell Hurray!! and give them an M&M or a chocolate chip. There is no need to give any more than this. Hopefully you will be giving lots of chips or M&M”s and you don’t want to overdo it. At that young age children also don’t need that much to motivate them. I even have my daughter call me when she is training her kids for me to say hurray over the telephone.
When I trained my first 3 children, I found that they needed lots of the treats,so I prepared them for the younger ones. However, my 2 younger children that were toilet trained the earliest were happy with the Hurrays and did not even need the treats.
When the children are older many parents try to use potty training charts. This is when the child get a sticker each time he makes in the potty. The bottom line is that immediate gratification is very important for kids this young.
Some people believe that the best way to potty train is to put the kids on the potty in set times throughout the day but, I never found that worked. If there is a child that consistently goes to the bathroom at set hours, then it may work for that child.
Dr. Phils potty training
There are a few different methods out there that are popular and Dr. Phil the famous T.V personality has one as well. His method has also been known as potty training in one day, which when you read up on it is not exactly one day. His method includes a preparation and planing period that can last a few weeks depending on the child’s readiness. The comes the “big day” when they actually throw away the diapers and use the potty and then there is the follow up which takes a couple of weeks.
When I potty trained my children it took me about a month or two without any special methods, and it looks like Dr. Phil’s potty training in one day is actually a lot more than one day.(I actually have heard of kids who decided that they wnated to use the toilet one day, threw away their diapers and that was it. It is however, rare and for the most part comes from the child herself)
His method is as follows: You buy your child a doll that wets, a potty and big boy or girl underwear. You show the child how you are putting the doll on the potty after pulling down the dolls underwear, make it pee in the potty and then throw a big potty party. Then you get rid of the child’s diapers, put underwear on your child, give them lots of fluids and wait till he has to use the potty. No scolding!! If he makes in his underwear then keep showing him how to pull the underwear down over and over again. When your child has been successful throw him a potty party like you did for the doll. Don’t forget you needs lots of positive reinforcement as well.
There aren’t really that many similarities to the way I did it as I don’t believe you need to throw big parties for the child to make in the potty and I like the idea of the underwearless child. It save a ton on laundry and it is more immediate to see the pee or bowel movement on the floor. Of course, you can only do this if you are home with your child.
3 Day Potty Training
Another method that is very popular is a method that was developed by mom of a bunch of her own children and foster children. She looked at all the mistakes her large extended family were making with potty training plus her own successes and wrote an e book on how to successfully train in 3 days. Her program is very intense and you basically have to be tied to your home for 3 days. You can go no where and you cannot be busy with anyone else including your other children. As with most methods, her method works with some children and not with others. If you try the other methods and they are not working then you may want to spend the $25 for her e book . She also has a help desk to ask specific questions and scenarios you may be running into.
Potty training regression
Whichever method you end up using it is important to be aware that there is a strong possibility of potty training regression. There are various reasons that children may start making all over the house again once they have been totally toilet trained. You must keep calm and cool and just start all over. It will probably not take you very long the second time around. Either pull out the potty training charts or the chocolate chips or M&M”s and pretty soon they will be dry again.
If its not working, then you may want to try looking at what is going on in your child’s life at the time that may be causing this regression. A new sibling, an illness in the family and certain fears are all valid reasons that your child is not using the toilet.
Potty training at night
One last important thing to say is about nighttime bed wetting. Potty training during the day has absolutely nothing to do with potty training at night. There are many children that have what is called enuresis which is bed wetting. It comes from being a deep sleeper and is often genetic. If you were a bed wetter or if there is a history of bed wetting in your family than you are more likely to have children that bed wet. The best methods to help nighttime bed wetters are usually the alarm systems which are not recommended for children until about ages 4 or 5 yrs old.
It is very important that your child know that there is nothing wrong with them, it is very common and just work on getting it solved. I have a number of my kids who had this problem up until their teen years and though it was very uncomfortable it is not life threatening.
If you want to check out any more info on potty training then Click Here! for a e book that offers a money back guarantee if your child is not trained withing a certain amount of time. Can’t go wrong with that.
Good luck! And don’t worry it really goes by really fast.