Potty Training

Potty Training

Are you looking forward to the day when you no longer have to deal with stinky diapers?  Are your kids at the stage where they are excited at the thought of being able to wear big kid underwear?  This typically happens somewhere between the ages of 18 and 24 months.  Unfortunately, toilet training is often problematic.

Is Your Child Ready To Be Potty Trained?

Unfortunately, this isn’t an exact science.  There are some signs you can watch out for, but there’s still going to be some guesswork here.  As for those signs, they are:

  • Your child either knows the words, or has his own words for, urine, stool and toilet.
  • They’ve got to the point where they are at least mildly bothered by the feeling of a wet or soiled diaper.
  • They’ve become interested in using the potty — you know this because you’ve caught them either sitting on it or playing with it in the bathroom.
  • They’ve reached the point where they’re mentally aware that they need to, or are about to, urinate or have a bowel movement.
  • Or they have already urinated or had a bowel movement and communicate to you their desire to have their diaper changed.

What you really want is for your toddler to be at the point where they can take an active role in their own toilet training.

Are You Ready To Start Potty Training Your Child?

Potty training your toddler is going to take time and effort, not to mention endless patience.  While trying to have a positive attitude and an encouraging smile on your face, you’re going to be running to the bathroom countless times, doing extra laundry, and cleaning up the occasional puddle.  If for whatever reason you and/or your husband are not at a stage in your life where you can deal with this added stress, it’s not a problem to postpone it for a little while.  Wait until the time is right for everybody — and that may include your child’s babysitter or nanny, or perhaps even their daycare.

Potty Training Strategies

There are several different popular toilet training strategies, and we’ll discuss a few of them here as well.  And point out any possible pros or cons.  Just be aware that even though the process may seem simplistic to you, you actually need to tailor the process to your own child and their temperament.

Remember, this is just a few of the strategies that you might consider using when potty training your child.

Strategy One — Hugs and Kisses Approach

This is where you give praise every time your child uses the potty correctly.  You clap your hands, and you hug and kiss them.  You also make sure that you will share their achievement with friends and family, so that they can congratulate your toddler as well.

  • Pros — Kids love attention, especially this kind of attention and your phrase will help build self esteem.
  • Cons — There aren’t really any cons here — it’s all positive, especially if your child learns from it.

This is actually a great way to begin potty training.  One thing you may want to do as the process continues is also reward them with tangible items when they overcome any of the hurdles they will likely encounter during their toilet training journey.

Strategy Two — Cold Turkey

This strategy is where you let your child pick out a few pairs of their own favorite, big kid underwear.  Perhaps take them on a shopping trip, let them see the appropriate underpants available, and allow them to choose several pairs.  Then, on a specific day, replace their diapers with their new underpants and deal with whatever fallout – pun intended — may occur.

  • Pros — Your kids will be thrilled to be wearing their grown up, big kid, underpants. When they do have an accident, the discomfort will be more acute than it would be while they were still wearing training pants or a diaper, which will hopefully serve as a reminder.
  • Cons — While this is more uncomfortable for your child, it’s also more uncomfortable for you as well because you are the one who is going to be cleaning up after them until they are totally potty trained.

This strategy will work well for parents who have limitless patience, don’t mind cleaning up the messes, and are able to stay home, or at least close to home during the toilet training process.  If your child seems to be truly motivated and wants to use the potty, many believe that this strategy is better than using training pants or pull ups.

Strategy Three — Training Pants / Pull Ups

If your child has reached the stage where they are showing an interest in potty training, you can switch them from regular diapers to disposable training pants, also called pull ups.  This strategy allows them to get used to the feeling of pulling up and down their underwear like a big kid, and it’s less work for you as you don’t have the cleanups to deal with.  You still need to give them proper encouragement, and take them to the bathroom at regular intervals, always asking them if they feel the need to go, and then praising them when they do make it to the potty on time.

  • Pros — As mentioned above, this is less work for you, as disposable diapers will contain any accidents.
  • Cons — The cost. Pull-ups are more expensive than diapers, and it often takes a child longer to potty train.

The strategy might be right for you, it you don’t mind the extra time it may take for positive results.  Also, if all of the extra cleanup necessary in the previous strategy is too much for you, this would be the better approach.

These are just a few of the strategies that you might want to consider using when the time comes to begin toilet training your child.