For some parents, potty training is one of the most challenging developmental milestones to achieve. Parents tend to dread it because they need to stay committed from start to finish.
There are no set rules when parents should start potty training, but in general, children show signs of readiness around 18 and 24 months. However, this is not to say that every child MUST be ready by then. Some might not be ready until they are at least 3 years of age.
There is no fixed time as to WHEN parents should be potty training, but there are tell-tale signs WHEN your child is ready. The most obvious one is when you notice there are fewer diaper changes and more regular bowel movements. You can also tell if your little one is starting to develop better bladder control when they wake up with unsoiled diapers during nap time.
Of course, we don’t mean for you to watch them like a hawk and hover over them to catch the moment they need to go. More so that you pay attention and look out for your toddler who might show signs of needing to go potty. While some may not be able to vocalise this just yet, you might still be able to tell from their facial expressions and hand gestures near the groin region.
Believe it or not, some toddlers might just start hating their soiled diapers where they refuse to wear them completely! If that’s the case, potty training might need to begin a.s.a.p, whether you like it or not!
Ultimately every child develops at different rates, so some toddlers may still pee quite often around the 2-year-old mark. So use this as a rough guide, but if they can stay dry for an hour or so and are waking up dry, that’s a clear indicator that potty training is a go.
If parents are the ones thinking about initiating potty training, WHAT should they do first?
First of all, know that this is a commitment and that there should be no turning back for this to be successful. So ask yourselves if you are ready or not. Potty training takes a lot of patience, consistency and encouragement on your part. Are you ready for that kind of commitment? Are you ready to clean up after accidents and still assure your little one that it is okay? Perseverance is key and probably a lot of poker facing when they make a mess. Most importantly, you should never think that success in potty training has anything to do with the child being intelligent or less bright. Always remember that shaming and losing your cool during toilet mishaps will only backfire on you.
When you are finally ready, decide on what words you will be using. Do you say potty or toilet? Do you say wee-wee, pee-pee or decide to say pee in another language? By being consistent with your chosen term, your little one will slowly associate these words with the actual act of going to the potty.
The next step is introducing them to the potty itself. For the first time, get your child familiarised with the potty by letting them sit on it fully clothed. Once they are comfortable sitting on the potty, you can progress to showing them how to pull down their pants before sitting down on the potty. For maximum success and less frustration, be sure to dress your child in clothes that are easy for them to remove.
Repetition will help them understand that the potty is where they should go if they need to do a number 1 or a number 2. On the parents part, start by getting your little one to pee in the potty first thing in the morning and right after naps. You also need to schedule 1-2 hour potty breaks after that and be there to teach your child the entire motion—starting from pulling down their pants, including cleaning up and standing up when everything is done. Don’t forget to show them how to wash their hands properly!
Parents also need to manage their expectations because, in the beginning, your little one might just sit there without doing number 1 or 2. This is completely okay, so just continue offering positive reinforcements and encourage them to try again later.
Be attentive and catch the signs your child might show to tell you that they need to go potty. Some might squirm, squat, or even grab their genitals, so you need to respond quickly. This helps your child to recognize the cue to stop whatever they are doing and to go directly to their potty and sit.
Above all, teach them the importance of self-hygiene. Even though it might take a while before they do a really good job, it is never too early to teach them HOW to clean up after themselves.
Show the girls how to wipe carefully from the front to the back. Teach both boys and girls how to dispose of soiled toilet paper, including flushing the toilet after they are done. And the Nuby potty is perfect for this because there’s a button when pressed, which gives out a flushing sound. Then when they are ready to progress from a potty to a toilet seat, they would already have the foundations of good toilet training.
In fact, graduating from the potty to the toilet is not always as tricky as it seems, especially when you have the Nuby Potty Topper to help with the transition. It is so easy to set up in your home toilet that even your child can help.
Parents only need to squeeze the two small levers at the back of the Nuby Potty Topper to secure it into place.
Both NUBY Potty and NUBY Potty Topper are available at your nearest baby store and astrafamily.co . Consider getting Astra Guard Natural Disinfectant Spray as a complete package to help parents take that big step to start toilet training. And as part of good toilet hygiene practices, you can let your child have their very own spray to disinfect and refresh their potty topper after use. The Astra Guard Natural Disinfectant Spray is an all-natural food-grade sanitiser that can kill 99.999% of bacteria and viruses that is non-toxic and very safe for children. It has the ability to neutralise smells to ensure that your child’s next toilet visit is a pleasant and clean one.
4. Take Home
Always approach toilet training expecting accidents to happen, and remember not to scold or shame your child when it happens. Be mindful of how your reaction could affect their progress. Above all, always be encouraging with your words and continue reinforcing even the small success along the way. It will be challenging the first two weeks, but continue to push through, and soon, you’ll be ditching those diapers.
If your child is ready and you have tried everything with no success, talk to your family doctor about it. They might be able to provide some insight and examine your child for any possible medical conditions.