Do’s And Don’ts of Potty Training a Toddler from a Mom Who Has Done It All
Blog Submitted by Poorvi Khare
You have been trying to potty train your toddler for quite some time and are not getting any success. You see the internet flooded with stories about how some parents have potty trained their toddler in a weekend or within three days or so.
And here you are, 2 months into the process - tired, frustrated, and your toddler is nowhere near being potty trained! All you can think about is, “What am I doing wrong? Is my child a slow learner? Am I a bad MOM?”
Let me tell you, mommy, you are not alone. I have been there and I understand how hard it can be.
The very first time I tried to potty train my toddler was when he was 1.5 years old. I thought, there are so many kids who are already potty trained and are not even 2 years old. I would teach my son too. But it turned out to be a big mistake. My son was not ready and it was a hard few days for both of us.
My desire to make him learn almost made him fear to enter bathrooms or toilets. He is also one of the late talkers, so at that time he was unable to understand and say words like pee and potty. Thankfully, I stopped after realizing it's not going to work.
The second time, I started to potty train my toddler after he turned 2, and he was potty trained when he was 2.6 years old. It took my toddler 6 months to be completely potty trained. Yep, SIX LONG MONTHS of struggle with lots of tantrums, tears, and meltdowns (mostly mine!).
I know what you are going through, and I want to share a few things I learned, so that I can help to make potty training a little easier for you.
But first, let me tell you something before I go further,
- If you have been trying to potty train your toddler and are not succeeding, you are not failing as a Mom, you may be having a stubborn toddler.
- Remember that every child is different, some may take a week to be trained and some may take months, and that's perfectly okay.
- It is possible that your toddler is not ready yet; you may be wasting your time and energy, but the effort will eventually pay off.
Know When Your Child Is Ready For Potty Training
This is the very first thing you should be sure of while starting potty training. Here are a few signs to help you understand if your child is ready to be potty trained or not:
- You are changing fewer wet diapers than before or your baby stays dry for 2 hours at a stretch.
- Your toddler has predictable bowel movements.
- Dirty or wet diapers makes your toddler uncomfortable.
- He/she is aware when he/she is pooping or peeing and tells you about it.
- Makes a particular expression or stands/sits quietly when peeing or pooping.
- Takes interest in others’ use of potty or tries to copy them.
- Awakes dry from a nap.
- Understands words like ‘pee’, poop’ etc.
If your toddler is doing any of the above things, he or she is probably ready to be potty trained.
Here are a few potty training do's and don’ts you should know about:
- Make sure your toddler is wearing right potty-training cloths, like pull up pants or dresses that are easy to hike. It helps saves time fumbling with buttons and belts.
- The right potty seat is a necessity when potty training. There are mainly two types of potty seats; stand-alone potty and seat reducer. (If your kid doesn’t want to enter the bathroom or has a fear of them, stand-alone seats are better. Otherwise, seat reducers which are placed on top of the toilet seat to reduce the size of the ring for the comfort of kids are a great option.)
- Watch for the signs or expressions your toddler generally makes while pooping so that you can have them sit on the potty seat in time.
- Always clean them on potty seats to make them understand that this is the right place.
- Children love praises; so, praise them as much you can. Reward them for small steps like entering the bathroom or sitting on the potty seat.
- Don’t make it a battle. Putting too much stress on yourself and your kid is not good for both of you. It will only delay the process more.
- Accidents are prone to happen, don’t sweat it.
- Don’t set a hard deadline, because kids are unpredictable and learn things in their own time.
- Don’t give in to the peer pressure. It is okay if your friend’s kid was potty trained by 1.5 years. Your kid will also learn when it’s the right time for him/her.
- Don’t continue if you are feeling that your child might not be ready yet.
Be patient and persistent Mommies, you will surely be successful in potty training your child!
What challenges did you face during potty training your toddler? Have more suggestions or questions? Do let me know in the comments section.
Poorvi Khare is a freelance writer and mommy blogger. She is an avid reader and a die-hard romantic at heart. You can find out more about Poorvi on her blog at Being Mommy & More where she writes about parenting and mom life.