Have you decided it’s time to start potty training your child? This is a stage in your child’s life and should be undertaken with care and understanding. Most children between the ages of 2 and 4 start using the toilet either on their own or with some encouragement from mom and dad. You should be aware, however, that although they will use the toilet sometimes it is perfectly normal for them to still have accidents up until they are four or five years old. Here are some potty training tips and things to remember when starting on this new adventure.
All children are different and do things at their own pace. Some children just aren’t ready to potty train at the same age as other children. We all know someone who swears that their child was potty trained by 1 ½ to 2 years of age. This may be ideal for some parents, but not all children are ready at this age. Most children are incapable of holding their bladder until they are at least 3 years of age. They will go in the potty if you take them in time, but they could not hold it on their own if there was no restroom near by.
My Own Potty Training Story
My little boy turns 3 years old in January and has already started potty training. We started him earlier, and he did really well, but a few setbacks caused him to stop using the toilet entirely. I was OK with him continuing to use his diapers because I have raised 3 other children, and I know that this is normal for his age and development.
I used cloth diapers with him because I loved the cute styles of pocket diapers and didn’t like spending so much money on disposable diapers. I had planned to keep using them until he was potty trained but as he grew older and bigger, his bladder capacity was larger too. He would wet right through the pocket diapers getting the couch, his clothes and anything else nearby all wet. I decided it was going to have to be pull ups or nothing because the cloth diapers just weren’t cutting it anymore.
Potty Training Basics:
- Let them go naked
- Put them on the potty chair or the toilet every 30 minutes to an hour
- Save diapers for overnight use
- Give them plenty of liquids to encourage them to go
- Get a potty chair or potty seat
- Lots of praise and encouragement (it really works)
The first thing we did when we started getting him to start using the toilet was letting him run around naked. This is one technique that is advocated in the book “Potty Train in Three Days” as well as other similar titles. It works because you can watch them more closely for signs that they may need to go, and they are more conscious of the fact that they are not wearing a diaper so sometimes it is easier getting them to the toilet.
Although you may be worried that your child will have an accident (and they will the first few times) this method works to start them using the toilet. Put diapers or pull ups on for overnights because it will be a while before they are able to stay dry all night on their own.
Take them to the potty often during the day and right before bed. Little ones like to use the potty excuse as a way to stay up a little later, but it is good to let them go if you think there is the slightest chance that they will go.
Measure your success by how often your child uses the potty and how long your diapers or pull ups last. We started at a rate of one box of 72 count pull ups lasting one week (we have two children potty training) to them now lasting two weeks and the boys’ beds are staying drier. I have not had to change his bedding in the middle of the night for some time now. Never compare your child’s progress to another’s because they may be in different developmental stages, and not all kids are ready at the same time.