The Right Time To Start Potty Training

24/08/2016

Potty training has so many benefits for both a toddler AND his/her parents.  For one, mommy and daddy don’t have to stop what they are doing every thirty (30) minutes to go to the washroom with their child, often a child discovers a new sense of self-confidence and esteem when they start going on the “big boy” or “big girl” potty, and it is easier to enrol your child for kindergarten or preschool.

Potty training, however, takes patience, time and energy.  Many parents welcome the idea of not having to purchase or change nappies anymore but the potty-training process can be quite overwhelming for the parents as well as the child.  The good news is it isn’t impossible, and there are many ways to gently ease your child into “going” on the toilet.

Keep in mind that potty training is a big stepping stone for children.  It is an idea and process that they have to get used to.  They are at an age where they are exploring their independence, they are figuring out their voice, likes and dislikes and the ability to use the potty on their own is just another avenue for them to express this new-found freedom.  But first, what is the right age to start potty training your child?

The Right Age to Start Potty-Training Your Child

Many experts say a good age to start potty training is 18 – 22 months, but we at Little Human Scholars feel that each child is different and are ready at different times.  That being said, there are many accounts, especially in Malaysia and Petaling Jaya, of children being potty trained from infancy.

One such story (found here), relates how a couple started training their daughter at six (6) months old and used positive reinforcement to get her to go.  When she was just a little over a year old, she was potty-trained!

But again, each child is different.  For me personally, I don’t know how I feel about potty-training my child for months on end – especially when it only took her a week to get the hang of it when she was two (2) years old.

Tips To Ease Your Child into Using the Big-Person’s Potty

As stated before, it can be an overwhelming time in a child’s life when we are trying to get them into a new routine.  Some children won’t have any issues and others may take a little time.

  1. Keep an Open Channel of Communication

Getting your child to tell you when they need to potty should be considered as a huge win.  If your child isn’t a big talker, you can always read the cues or set up some other form of communication depending on their learning style (find out your child’s learning style here).  You can also reward your toddler for communicating – positive reinforcement works wonders on children.    my child

  1. Get them on a potty-time schedule

In the beginning, it may be good to take them to the bathroom every 15 minutes or so until they have gotten the hang of this whole potty business.  Pay attention to when they actually go, and as the week progresses you can spread out the potty-time occurrences.

  1. Let them run around naked

Some children, including boys, tend to go on their own when they run around the house naked.  After all, their poop and pee have to go somewhere!  While some kiddos may just plop down and go all over the floor, others may take themselves to the bathroom without mommy and daddy’s help – such is the case for one little student at Little Human Scholars!  His mom swore that having naked-time did wonders for her child!

  1. Celebrate the little wins.

When your child does manage to go on the big boy or big girl potty, celebrate!  Make a big deal out of their achievement!  Compliment them on the work they have done and do a happy dance with them!  This positive anchoring will support them in looking forward to the potty as opposed to being scared or intimidated by it.

  1. Accidents happen – it’s not a big deal!

While you are playing up the little wins, play down the accidents.  Don’t make it a big deal if they accidentally go on the floor or in the bed.  The last thing you want is to discourage them from doing what they need to do.  Keep in mind they didn’t learn how to walk the first time they tried; it took a bit of time and patience before the right neural connections were made within their brain.  The same goes for potty training.

  1. Limit bedtime drinks

An old rule but a good rule, limit bedtime drinks…unless you really like waking up in the middle of the night to change sheets and clean mattresses!  Some parents prefer not to give drinks up to two hours before bed – but given our climate, other parents will still choose to hydrate their child before bedtime.  The last thing you want is your child being dehydrated and getting a UTI (urinary tract infection) which makes going potty painful!  If bedtime drinks absolutely cannot be limited, try keeping a diaper on during the night just until they can confidently wake up without a wet diaper!

  1. Make it into a game!

Kids love games, at least most of them do.  One cool idea I found while scouring the internet was to create a little table where they can put stickers every time they successfully use the potty!  At the end of the row you can reward them with a fun activity or outing, such as going to the petting zoo or visiting a water park.

10. Tell Your Kindergarten or Preschool Teacher!

If you have already enroled your child in school, be sure to tell your child’s teacher or principal so they can remind your child to practice going potty.  Consistency is key here – you don’t want them to be practicing at home and then put into a diaper while at school!  Some schools, such as Little Human Scholars preschool, playschool, daycare and nursery in PJ, offers potty-training services.  While not all schools offer this, it is something LHS takes pride in!

In summary, every child is different and it’s your job to find what works for them.  Some parents find that each of their children require different tactics!  It’s amazing how even toddlers can have different temperaments and preferences!  So give your child some time to get this new habit down – repetition is key here.

Wishing you a fun and fulfilling potty-training experience!

 

Best wishes,

 

Jana Moreno

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