Did you know that the average baby will go through approximately 1,200 – 3,000 diapers in a year? Think about the cost, to say nothing of the landfill, if you’re using disposables. Potty training is something that many parents dread when the time comes but it can be a life changer when it has been mastered. From traveling with your little one to going to preschool, life with the littles gets a whole lot easier when kids learn how to use the bathroom properly! Here are some tips to help you and your little one get started:
1. Start potty training when THEY are ready
Yes, life is easier when kids know how to go to the toilet independently but it’s very important not to rush them into potty training. If a child isn’t ready, you could actually delay their ability to potty train at best and cause voiding issues like constipation, at worst. It can become a real power struggle with a child, where they exert their power by refusing to go in the toilet. So while you might be eager to get them out of the diapers and into preschool, pushing your child to potty train will only end in frustration, for both of you!
How do you know when a child is physically ready to begin potty training?
- They can walk to and sit on a potty or potty chair independently.
- They can pull their own diaper down.
- and when they are dry for a couple of hours at a time.
Emotional readiness is also a factor: if they don’t show any interest in it, despite you showing them what it’s all about, don’t force it. When they start telling you that they need to go, it’s a sign that it’s time to pull out the training seat you bought ages ago!
Typically, most kids are ready to start training around age 2 and fully trained by age 4. This varies tremendously by a child, however, so don’t get stuck on those numbers.
2. Get the right equipment
The prospect of a full-size toilet is daunting for most kids, but the little ‘floor potties’ aren’t practical for many parents. The best solution is a hybrid one, which is also portable for when you travel.
A toilet seat that goes over a standard toilet—like the Pöti, from bblüv—is perfect. Your child can sit without fear of falling and the built-in handles and non-slip pads provide that little bit of extra security. It has the advantage of being portable so if you’re traveling with your little one during potty training, they will have a familiar ‘seat’ to sit on, wherever you are.
To make sure that your little one can get to the seat on their own, add a step stool, like the Stëp foldable and portable step stool. Your little kid will feel like a big kid, ready to tackle potty training and hand washing, with this sturdy, easy to bring along stool.
Buy your potty training equipment before you need them, and place them in the bathroom, so your child sees them and eventually becomes curious about what they’re for. You can use that opportunity to explain it and see if they show any interest in trying them out!
3. Get on a potty training schedule
Get your child in the habit of using the toilet at specific times: after eating, for example. If they use it every day at roughly the same time, their bodies will adapt and eventually, they’ll start to recognize the signs that they need to go well before it’s too late!
For this, you need to enlist the support of anyone who cares for your child: family members, daycare, and babysitters. They need to be on the same page, for consistency.
4. Don’t despair if they regress
It’s normal. Most kids will learn to stay dry during the day in about 3 to 6 months; some take less, many take more. Stress, life changes (new daycare, new school, new sibling) or other family events can cause a short-term regression. Don’t worry about it! If you are stressed about it, your child will be stressed about it and start having accidents. Instead of worrying, keep calm and potty on!
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