5 questions every parent has about potty training.
Photo by Anastasiya Gepp
There’s no doubt that seeing their child reach a particular milestone can make parents feel quite excited. This is especially true if the child manages to reach it before any of his peers. One of those big milestones involves learning how to use the potty.
Now, every child is different, and while some may excel at it early on, others may need a little more time to adjust to this big change. If you’re currently in the process of transitioning from diapers to potty or are looking to get started, here are five questions every parent has about potty training – answered.
When is the right time to potty train my child?
Truth be told, there is no one correct answer to this common question about potty training. Generally speaking, most parents start the process when the child is 18 months old. Some may delay the process a bit more and have their child potty trained somewhere around their 3rd birthday.
Others, however, may start as early as 6 months using infant potty training or the elimination communication method. Overall, it’s up to you and your little one to decide about the right time to take the plunge.
How many potty training methods are there?
There are several techniques you can use to teach your child how to use the potty. First, there’s the child-led method, where the child chooses when to use the potty and when to rely on diapers. Then, there’s the parent-led method, in which the adults take the lead and create a potty schedule. Finally, there’s the 3-day potty training method, which essentially aims to get your child out of diapers over a long weekend.
Keep in mind that you can always rely on an experienced potty training coach to help you out. Whether you’ve tried potty training and failed, or simply need some guidance, things tend to go a lot smoother with a pro on your side. Whichever method you choose, arm yourself with patience, because a couple of accidents are bound to happen before they learn.
How can I make the process more exciting for my child?
Getting your child interested in using the potty is one of the trickiest parts of potty training. Sometimes, they’ll express interest by themselves. Other times, it will be up to parents to make the process a bit more exciting.
The most common way to encourage your little one to transition from diapers to potty is by praising them. Show your excitement by cheering for them and rewarding them every time they succeed. Be sure to use specific language (“pee-pee”, “poo-poo”, etc.) to help them associate words with the act. Some parents may also offer their kids potty treats such as stickers or small toys to encourage them, while others may take them shopping for a potty chair and big kid underwear and let them pick.
How long does the process usually take?
Again, this depends on the child, the method you use, as well as their level of readiness. Some kids may adapt earlier, while others may need a bit more time. Children with developmental disorders such as autism may take a bit longer. Nevertheless, they’re usually trained to use the potty by the time they’re 3 years old.
Generally speaking, you can expect the potty training process to last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. What’s important is that you don’t rush the process, or start it too soon. It’s best that you take cues from your little one and adjust to their own pace.
How will I know my child is ready to be potty trained?
The key is to look for signs of readiness in your child, paying special attention to whether they’re developmentally ready. The signs of a child being ready to be potty trained usually start to appear in the period between 18 months and 2 years.
As for the signs themselves, they usually involve announcing that they’re about to go or have gone, hiding to poop or pee, or displaying interest in using the toilet. They may also get interested when they see others use the toilet, or imitate what they’re doing. Other signs to look for include staying dryer for longer, waking up from naps dry, or pulling at dirty diapers.
Potty training isn’t an easy feat, and it definitely doesn’t happen overnight. Still, if you stay consistent and patient, you’ll manage to make potty training less stressful and more enjoyable for all. Stick with the tips above, and you’ll be ready to go diaper-free in no time.
Potty training your little one can be frustrating, but once it’s done right, you can start reaping the benefits of going diaper-free.