If your child is showing signs of readiness, now might be a good time to consider potty training. While this might seem like an added stress, this extra time at home means you’ll be there for the whole process. This could mean a less stressful potty training process for you and your child.
How do you know if your child is ready? There are a few signs:
- Your child shows an interest in learning to use the potty and asks questions about others’ bathroom habits.
- Your child can verbalize words regarding the potty, like “I need to potty,“ or “diaper dirty.”
- Your child can follow instructions and copies your habits.
- Your child can keep their diaper dry for at least 2 hours.
- Your child can pull their own diaper up and down.
- Your child can climb on and off the potty.
There is no one-size-fits all method when it comes to kids potty training, and one of these techniques might be a better fit than another for your child. That’s why it’s important to give yourself permission to drop a method if it seems to upset your child and move on to the next.
Infant potty training
It’s exactly what it sounds like! In some areas of the world like India, China and Africa, parents train their babies to “use” the toilet from birth or sometime within the 3-6-month range. No, these babies aren’t sitting on toilets—their parents learn to read their babies’ cues before they need to potty; such as watching closely for a unique cry, facial expression, squirm or other cue before holding them over a toilet or receptacle. However, infant potty training does require a lot of time and attention, so it’s important to consider whether or not your current schedule is best suited for this method.
Child-led potty training
This method allows your child to gradually learn to use the potty on their own terms. Child-led potty training is a gentle way to let your child control how and when they go. Your ability to do this may also vary based on whether you’re potty training boys or potty training girls. You can start this method by asking your child if they have to go and be sure to cheer them on when they do!
Gradual, parent-led potty training
One of the best potty-training methods for boys and girls is to lead by example. Simply allow your child to follow you into the bathroom whenever you have to go and show them the entire process of wiping, flushing and washing their hands. If you have older children, you may also want them to join their siblings a time or two, as well. This method is a great way to bond with your child while also establishing a new routine.
The "bare-bottom" method
This is one of the potentially messier, more time-consuming methods to try, but it can be one of the most effective ways to potty train your child. This method allows your child to go bare from the waist down and take them to the potty whenever they display the urge to go via physical and/or verbal cues. Again, you’ll want to be sure to reinforce every successful potty visit by cheering them on each time they go. This process does require lots of patience and a willingness to clean up a few inevitable accidents along the way, so just be patient if you choose to try this method.
Whether you decide to try one of these potty-training methods or a combination of them all, the most important part of potty training your child is to be loving, supportive and encouraging. It’s also important to give yourself a break if the process becomes overwhelming. If one method doesn’t work, take a break and move on to the next until your child shows signs of readiness again. Each child is different, so be sure to exercise patience and be willing to get a little creative along the way to ensure your child’s potty-training experience contributes to their wellness.
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