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Is your child ready to ditch the diapers and use the toilet? Typically, children begin showing signs that they are ready between 18 and 24 months. However, some children may not be prepared until three years of age, and there is generally no reason to be alarmed by that. It is important to note that deciding to potty-train is based on developmental milestones rather than age. Teaching a child how to use the restroom is a task that many parents long to overcome, as it is thought to be a challenging venture. We are here to reassure parents that it does not have to be as tricky as it is made out to seem. Continue reading to learn four effective strategies we recommend parents use when potty-training their children:
- Communicate with your child: Communication is vital when teaching a child how to use the toilet. Depending on your child’s language skills, you can teach them how to communicate that they need to use the restroom. We encourage parents to implement some form of language when potty training their children. Teach them the word “potty,” how to sign language or a picture system. Communication will be essential to teaching your child how to use the restroom independently, and it will also be beneficial when they are in school or with other caregivers.
- Establish a routine: Setting a pattern is an essential part of the potty-training process when followed by communication. Be sure to take your child to the toilet when they have expressed that they need to go. Potty training takes time and patience, so do not get discouraged if your child does not grasp it right away. Once your child begins to understand the concept of using the toilet, we recommend allowing them to walk around in underwear while they are home. Sure, messes can occur, but one natural way to help a child understand that they should use the toilet is discomfort. When they wear a diaper, they are less likely to be uncomfortable than when they wear underwear.
- Stay consistent: Just like practice makes perfect, consistency is key! Getting a routine down and staying consistent is vital in the successful potty training of a child. One major factor in consistency is getting your family on board with your child’s potty training. If grandma is coming over to babysit or dad is taking on the task for the day, be sure to go through your potty-training plan with them so that they can implement it even while you are gone. By staying on a constant routine, your child will have the best chance of quickly grasping the concept of using the toilet.
- Provide a reward system: Most children do great with positive reinforcement. Providing a reward-based system is a great way to potty-train a child. We advise parents to: create a log for every day of the week and allow their child to put a sticker on every day they use the toilet. Followed by this, we encourage to give them a small treat immediately after using the bathroom and remind them that they can have another treat when they use the “potty” again.
Now that you understand four great and practical strategies to potty training, you should avoid certain ways to go about it. When potty-training, do NOT:
- Make your child use the toilet against their will.
- Provide a punishment when your child does not want to sit on the toilet.
- Ridicule them or punish them when they have accidents.
If your child struggles with getting potty training down and you have concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with their pediatrician.
At SuraMed Health Center, we are prepared to assist parents in keeping their children happy and healthy. To learn more about our services, visit our website now.