Potty Training Done The Right Way

child in a bathtub

So you’ve just started potty training your kid and are full of glee with images in your head of not having to change a diaper or paying for one ever again. But then you encounter setbacks, or more accurately, accidents. Do not fret—potty training will eventually happen, considering that your kid is ready. Otherwise, you’ll just stress you and your kid out.

When Should You Start Potty Training

To succeed in potty training, the key is to accurately identify your kid’s readiness level. Most experts agree that you shouldn’t rush your kid. Generally speaking, you should be on the lookout for interest or readiness signs when your kid is around two to three years old. According to the AAFP, American Academy of Family Physicians, it is best that you begin training once your kid:

  • Is capable of staying dry for a couple of hours
  • Tells you that he or she wants to use the toilet or potty
  • Has bowel movements more regularly
  • Tells you after they’ve passed a stool or urinated
  • Can follow simple instructions
  • Can pull his or her training pants up or down without help
  • Can reach the potty, get up, and sit down without assistance

The Basics of Potty Training

toilet bowl

Experts recommend buying a potty chair so that your kid can become used to it prior to starting actual potty training. When you notice signs of readiness, talk to your kid about how you’ll work together to prepare him for potty training. Choose a specific time and day to begin, ideally when you can spend the entire day with your kid. Take him or her to the bathroom or where the potty is every hour. If your kid is unable to pee or poop, praise your kid with statements such as, “You did a great job trying and we’ll just try to go again when you’re ready.”

Expect that you’ll run into accidents at some point, but it is immensely crucial that you don’t use anger or shame when responding to accidents. Studies have shown that this will only add anxiety to an already nerve-wracking and sometimes high-stress situation, and could actually make potty training more contentious and more of a power play. Experts likewise advise that you inform the teachers of the childcare center in Salt Lake City he attends about your potty training strategies so that your kid can continue training even when not at home.

Some Vital Things to Keep in Mind When Potty Training

While some parents approach potty training in a more laidback way than other parents, some parents have found success with a rewards-based system. For example, offering simple, inexpensive gifts for using the potty successfully. The main thing to remember though is that you should never pressure your kid and if you want to use rewards, don’t overdo it or it might stop working. In addition, although girls and boys usually demonstrate readiness at the same time, girls typically finish training much faster than boys. Lastly, keep in mind that following your kid’s lead is the best way to go about potty training.