Potty training a child is challenging, even if you’ve done it several times before. But for first-time parents, getting a child to use the potty consistently can seem impossible. Fortunately, there is an arsenal of helpful tips, techniques, and tools to make this developmental milestone much easier. This guide aims to help first-time parents conquer their potty training journey.
Is Your Child Ready?
Many children exhibit signs that they’re ready to be potty trained between 18 and 24 months old. Here are some indications that your child may be ready to begin this important journey toward greater bathroom independence:
- Your child’s diaper stays dry for up to two hours at a time
- Your child shows interest in the toilet
- Your child wants to wear “big kid” underwear
- Your child can pull their pants down and back up again
- Your child can sit on a toilet without falling backward
- Your child knows how to communicate the need to use the potty
These are all great signs that your little one may be ready to initiate the process of potty training. If your child can’t do some or all of these things, it’s best to wait longer.
Set Up Your Potty
Using an adult-sized toilet may not seem like a big deal to you, but that giant hole that sucks down toilet paper and “other things” can be very frightening to children. Additionally, it’s surprisingly easy for a toddler to lose grip and fall backward into the toilet bowl. To prevent this potentially traumatizing situation, most parents invest in a child-sized toilet or toilet seat that can attach to a standard toilet.
It’s up to you to decide how to set up your child’s potty. If you get a kid-sized toilet, be aware that you’ll need to clean and sterilize it after each use. This can be daunting for parents, so child-sized toilet seats are another popular solution. These toilet seats are designed to fit over the top of an adult-sized toilet seat, but the opening is smaller, so children don’t fear falling in. Sometimes, these toilet seats have built-in handles that make it easier for children to steady themselves while they “go.”
If you attach a child’s toilet seat to your toilet, you also want to invest in a step stool. This will help your little one step up quickly to the toilet and provide foot support to prevent poor bathroom circulation.
Schedule Potty Breaks
Many children forget to go to the toilet when they need to use the bathroom because they get so enthralled in other activities. To help make potty training a success, it’s a good idea to schedule potty breaks. Ideally, these should be scheduled every 30 minutes during the first few days of training. After that, you can slowly increase the window between breaks for up to two hours.
How To Handle Accidents
Your child will inevitably have the occasional accident when potty training. This is to be expected and doesn’t necessarily mean your child is regressing or acting out. To prepare for these incidents, always have a clean change of clothes packed and ready to go. Keep a plastic bag with you to store soiled clothes and wipes.
Talk to your child about what happened and why to prevent future accidents. Explain that it’s important to go to the potty when they first feel the urge to avoid future accidents.
In some cases, accidents happen because children have difficulty going when they’re on the toilet. Wellements Organic Constipation Support can help improve regularity and avoid constipation, so your child can easily use the bathroom.