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The Ultimate Potty Training Guide

No matter whether he/she is in infancy or the toddler years, knowing how and when to potty train your child can save you unnecessary frustration. 

It was not until the invention of the modern diaper in the nineteenth century that parents have had the convenience of not worrying whether their baby has the urge to ease him or herself all the time. In the past, mothers would carry their bare-bottomed babies everywhere they went, and when their child had the urge to clear his or her bowels, the mother would hold the baby away from her body and not get herself soiled in the process.

These mothers learnt the signs indicating the baby’s urge to go by observing patterns and reading the baby’s facial expressions and gestures. Thankfully, the modern diaper has changed this part of parenting. On the other hand, potty training is something that has not changed and teaching the child to identify the urge and vocalise it quickly enough to get them to the toilet is still, unfortunately, a daunting task for many parents.

Potty Training for Infants (0 months – 12-year-old)
There are many different ways to deal with the issue of potty training for newborns. Most parents today will opt for the hassle free diaper, but there are parents who would prefer that their baby is potty trained at an early age and avoid the diaper as much as possible. This, according to parents who have tried early potty training, is to ensure their child does not become attached to the ease of the nappy and spare them the intense effort needed for potty training when the baby is older.

And from experience, these parents say that the best time to start infant potty training is when the child is 0-4 months old. If the parents start later, it will take the child a longer time to learn as he or she will have to ‘unlearn’ the diapering behaviour. However, as spending a lot of time in close proximity of the baby is needed for this to be accomplished, it is understood that early potty training is not a feasible option for parents who are working, and cannot find the time to do this. In that instance, using the diaper and postponing potty training till the child is older would be the best alternative.      

4 Tips To Follow When Potty Training Infants

  1. Observe your baby and take note of his or her elimination patterns.
  2. When your baby is making one of his or her typical elimination signs, hold the baby gently over a toilet, a potty or even a bucket or pot. Whichever you think suits his or her tiny size.
  3. Make a noise which your baby will learn to associate with elimination, when the baby is relieving him or herself. Many parents make water like sounds like “sssss”, or phrases like “go potty”. Come up with one and repeat this sound whenever you see that your baby has to go.
  4. When an accident happens, stay calm and be a matter-of-fact about it.

Potty Training for Toddlers (1-3 years old)
Very much like learning how to walk or crawl, potty training is a skill that a toddler must learn. If a toddler has been wearing diapers since infancy, it is best that the parent look for signs of physical, emotional, and cognitive readiness before attempting to toilet train. Parents will feel that it is an impossible task at first, as many toddlers will be reluctant to give the diaper up. Even so, the toddler will eventually learn to use the toilet when he or she is ready.  

Keep in mind that no matter how great the pressure is to potty train a child, parents should not force this process if their child is not showing signs of readiness to undergo potty training. There are many instances where a child is only ready to potty train when he or she is well into the third or fourth year, but most show signs of readiness between the ages of 18 months and three years.

 5 Tips To Potty Train Your Toddler Like A Pro

  • Try using like animal stamps on hands as a way to praise success. This would help make toilet training a fun process.
  • Invite them to sit on the potty when you are using the toilet.
  • Switch from diapers to training pants they can pull up and down themselves.
  • You should not start potty training when there are big changes happening in the family such as a new arrival or a move to a new house.
  • Do not make them sit on the potty for too long as to avoid the process feeling like punishment.
  • Don’t give up hope if it seems like your toddler is not ready to be potty trained. Try again a couple of weeks later

At the end of the day, you’ll know when your child is ready for potty training when they can follow simple instructions, such as a request to sit down, stay dry for a stretch of two to three hours and is not resistant to learning to use the toilet.