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A parent’s handbook to potty training

December 3, 2020

My son is starting preschool this year, he still wears nappies. So, how do I potty train him?

This is the most frequently asked question from the parents. Toilet training, like teething, is as individual as each child. The ideal time to start the training will be different for everyone.

SIGNS OF READINESS

There is no point in starting the toilet training before your child is completely ready for it. The bladder and bowel muscles have to be sufficiently developed for the child to be able to hold on to urine and faeces long enough to get to the potty or toilet in time. This doesn’t happen physiologically before about 2 years of age (sometimes bowel control is achieved before this). Night time dryness usually takes longer than day time dryness, but it’s generally achieved between 2-4 years of age.

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Below are the signs that indicate the readiness of your child:

  • Your Child is able to stay dry for two hours at a time in the day, or during a daytime nap.
  • He/she has regular and predictable bowel movements.
  • He/ She indicates by words, facial expression or posture that they are about to urinate or have a bowel movement.
  • If your child becomes uncomfortable with wet or soiled nappies.
  • Willingness to cooperate with toilet training.

You will also like: The Ultimate Potty Training Manual for Your Child

GETTING STARTED

Allow your child to develop awareness before starting the toilet training, for example, by letting your child go without a nappy during the day. This will help them learn what urine is and where it comes from. Introduce your child to the potty or toilet before you start his/her training they get used to it. There are all kinds of musical potties available these days to make it interesting.

Pick a suitable time when you can be consistently home for one to two weeks without commitments. Don’t start training if your child is unwell, or if a major event is happening, like home renovations or a new baby.

BOWEL TRAINING

Children can often control their bowels before they’re able to control their bladder.

SOME USEFUL HINTS

Once you start training, consistency is the key.

  • Use training pants or pull-ups. Don’t be tempted to put a nappy on if going out. This will only cause confusion or a sense of your distrust in them. It can also undo any previous success and/or cooperation.
  • Dress your child in the clothes that they can pull down easily for quick access, avoid overalls, buttons or zips.
  • If going for shopping, know where the toilets are. It can save time and accidents during an emergency.
  • Make them sit them on a potty regularly (before meals, bath times, and naps). Never ask if they want to go to the toilet or sit on the potty because invariably the answer will be no.
  • Use positive suggestion and persuasion, for example, “Okay, let’s go to the toilet now, then we’ll have something to eat.”
  • When sitting your toddler on the potty or toilet, don’t give them toys to play with or books to read. This will distract them and they will invariably forget why they’re there.
  • Be patient. Never nag or force your child to sit on the potty or toilet. If they’re unwilling, use positive and gentle words of encouragement.

  • Be prepared for the accidents. Keep positive and never scold.
  • Nappies will be necessary for the bedtimes for a little while longer.
  • If you experience more failures than success, stop the training and start again in a few months.
  • Limit the bedtime drink.
  • Read the potty training books.
  • The best time to start the potty training is during summer as kids will start going to school after the summer.
  • Potty training in sessions.

Now that you know what the potty training is and how to potty train your toddler, it won’t be difficult for you to train your little one.

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Must read: How to be a role model for your Child

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  4. Top Children’s Specialist near me in Pune
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