The terrible twos can be a trying time, but also a rewarding one. Your toddler is at a stage when he is trying to establish independence. One of these steps toward independence is the transition from wearing diapers to using the toilet.
Potty training can be a trying time for the child and the parents. But the rewards of saying goodbye to diapers and seeing the look of accomplishment on your toddler’s face make it well worth the effort.
Know When Your Child Is Ready
One of the most important things to consider in potty training is whether or not your toddler is ready for it. He may be ready earlier or later than his siblings, cousins, or your friends’ kids. Some signs that your little one is ready for potty training include:
* Going two hours or more without wetting a diaper
* Awareness of urination and bowel movements, before or while they happen
* Being bothered by a dirty or wet diaper or telling you that he has one
* Expressing interest in using the potty
Two years is a common age for potty training readiness. But some kids are ready earlier and some later. Most experts agree that there is no need for concern unless your child is 4 years old and still expresses no interest in using the potty.
Preparing for Potty Training
When your child is approaching two years old, or sooner if he shows interest in using the potty, there are some ways you can encourage his curiosity. There are many books about potty training designed for toddlers that use pictures and fun rhymes to discuss learning to use the potty. Reading these to your child can educate him about bathroom etiquette and encourage him to ask questions. It’s also good to let your child in when the parent of the same gender is using the bathroom. This lets the child see in person what is expected of him.
Once your child is ready, you can start encouraging him to use the potty. You will probably want a potty chair, but there are also some other products on the market that can help you with this. Diapers that have disappearing symbols or let your toddler feel wetness can help him learn when he needs to go to the potty. There are also sticker charts that you can use to keep track of your child’s progress. A small reward each time he gets a set number of stickers can provide an added incentive and encouragement.
When to Go Potty
Looking for signs that your child is about to use his diaper can give you cues as to when you should try to get him to use the potty. If it’s hard to tell with your little one but you can try taking him about every two hours. It’s important to be in the bathroom with him the whole time in the early stages. Once he begins to let you know when he needs to use the potty, you can gradually begin to let him go in himself and come in to help as needed.
Potty training is one of the most important phases of a child’s development. It is also a frequent source of stress for parents. Following the child’s lead and giving rewards and encouragement can make the transition much smoother for both toddler and parents.