It is hard to believe how fast your child grows up as you reminisce about his/her first smile, first sounds, crawling and first steps! Now it is time to toilet train. However, to start your child’s toilet training, he/she must have completed the necessary physical and mental development processes that will be drawn upon during potty training. Even if your child has started to understand the concept of using the toilet, he/she may not yet be able to hold back until she reaches her potty due to the fact that the physical development necessary to accomplish this may not have been completed yet. Your child needs you to be affectionate and caring when you change his/her diaper.
While some children can start their toilet/potty training when they are only one-and-a-half, others may need to wait until they turn 3 and sometimes 4. Boys may show a tendency to start their toilet/potty training later than girls. Again, some toddlers can complete potty training in just a few days, while for others, this process could extend over a period of 1 year, or even longer.
This does not necessarily mean your child’s development is ahead or behind the others. Don’t forget; each child develops at his/her or her own pace. Do not compare your child with other children and always remind him/her that he/she is unique. Support your child in his/her unique growth journey.
Timing is very important in toilet training. Do not rush or force your child into something that he/she is not ready for.
Most toddlers complete their toilet/potty training within a period of 3-6 months if it is started at the right time. So how do you decide when the time is right? To answer this we shall be discussing some of the signs pointing to the readiness of your child for potty/toilet training.
If your child is ready for toilet training:
• He/she can hold pee and stay dry for periods longer than 2 hours. He/she will also be aware of the physical signs of the need to use the potty.
• He/she will stay dry during his/her afternoon nap.
• He/she will feel uncomfortable when his/her diaper is wet.
• He/she wants to use the toilet or the potty.
• He/she wants to put on underwear.
• He/she can understand and follow simple instructions.
If your child displays at least two of these signs you can get ready to start the training process. If your child likes his/her independence or wants to copy your bathing habits, you may feel inclined to start his/her toilet training.
In toilet training, you must choose the most natural and stress free method possible. Display a calm and positive attitude and encourage your child to use either the toilet or the potty. You can go potty shopping together and leave the choice to him/her, let your child play with a potty that hasn’t been used yet and even attempt playing with his/her toys using her potty. Subsequently you can ask your child whether he/she would like to sit on the potty and help him/her try it out.
Modeling could help children overcome their fears of the unknown. Let your child accompany you when you use the bathroom. He/she will gain experience as he/she observes you.
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