Potty training is one of the more difficult things that parents face. They often don’t know when and how they should begin potty training their children, which leads to many parents trying far too early or far too late. You want to make sure that you are getting your child along on the right track to potty training because this is an important step. Make sure that you are paying attention to your child because chances are that he or she will let you know when it’s time to begin.
The biggest mistake most parents make is ignoring their child on this issue. Your child will know when he or she wants to be potty trained, and it’s important to wait for this point. If you try to potty train your child too early, you won’t be able to succeed because the child simply won’t be ready to understand. You also don’t want to start too late because your child has already passed the best time for potty training and is likely very unhappy with continuing to use a diaper.
The best time is when your child tells you–that’s right, tells you. As children begin to get a little older, they start to understand what it means to have a wet or dirty diaper, and they won’t like it. After all, how would you like to have to sit in your own mess for any length of time? Your child will start to feel that way too, and when that happens he or she will start to tell you as soon as the diaper is dirty. Make sure you’re listening and change the child immediately, but even more than that, take him or her into the bathroom and ask if the child needs to go to the bathroom. If so, you can take the opportunity to show what to do if needed.
This stage in their development will likely occur around 22 to 30 months. This is just around two years of age. Once your child starts telling you that he or she is dirty or wet, you want to start asking frequently if the child needs to go to the bathroom. Many parents buy their child a special toilet that is smaller than the regular one. Some of these are separate from the regular toilet altogether and have their own reservoir that needs to be emptied. Others may be special seats that fit over the regular toilet seat to make it small enough for a child. One of these two options is recommended, as your regular seat will likely be too big for your child; however, when you go out somewhere, you will need to help your child to use a regular toilet.
By the time your child gets to the point of noticing being wet or uncomfortable, he or she may be able to tell you about feeling a need to go. The important thing is to make sure that you are taking the child to a bathroom as soon as he or she tells you about the need to go. That means that even if you are in the middle of something, you need to take him or her to the bathroom immediately. Missing even one time that your child has to go could set back your entire attempt at training.
Another important thing about potty training is the opportunity to make your child feel good. That means celebrating every time that the child makes it to the bathroom on time and goes on a toilet like a “big girl” or “big boy.” It also means being careful when your child does not make it to the bathroom because you don’t want him or her to feel too upset or depressed. Don’t make too big of a deal of the issue, but instead simply clean the child up and put on a new diaper. Continue asking frequently if the child feels the need to go and take him or her whenever asked. Not making it one time could set your child back as well, and you don’t want to do that.
If your child doesn’t tell you about the need to go to the bathroom or if he or she resists it, the child probably is not yet at the right stage in development. It may take a little longer to get there. Children who experience high levels of stress from anything at all could suddenly have problems with toilet training even if they were previously doing very well. The important thing is to be sure that you aren’t making too big of a deal out of it. Continue to praise your child for making it to the bathroom on time and don’t stress mistakes too much. Your child will likely feel bad enough about the mistake, and a negative response from you may make the discomfort worse and make the child even less likely to try the next time.