Techniques To Potty Train Toddlers
1) How to know if your toddler is ready to potty train?
There are signs which may indicate whether your toddler is ready to be potty trained or not. What signs? :-
a) Facial and Physical expressions
- A facial expression that says that he/she is forcing the potty to go away is the first sign that your child may not be comfortable doing potty in the diaper anymore. You should then offer your child to let her/him sit on their potty trainer/seat or the toilet seat and check if she/he agrees or not.
- Toddlers may also hold their pee and usually fidget by pressing their thighs together. They should then be offered to be taken to the toilet.
b) Short Syllabic Sounds
- Most toddlers are unable to speak coherently so, you need to carefully look out for the sounds that indicate if your toddler is ready for potty training or not.
- Usually the toddlers utter the sound ‘p’ or ‘pi’ before they go, since mostly the Parents use the words ‘potty’ or ‘pee-pee’ with them. Hence, you may monitor these sounds more often.
- A painful sounding ooh! or aah! before potty means that your toddler might be constipated. Potty training is difficult if your child suffers from constipation. Ensuring that your toddler drinks enough water during this time will keep constipation in check. Then you can initiate potty training with him/her.
- If your toddler is interested to go to the toilet every couple of hours willingly, he/she will make some intelligible sounds.
c) Clear words like ‘potty,’ ‘pee-pee,’ etc
- If your toddler understands symptoms and the feeling of potty or of using the toilet, they might say the complete words like ‘potty,’ ‘poo,’ ‘pee,’ and so on… Since we speak different languages with kids, the words they may use in this case, will also be in the language we speak.
- Sometimes children make their own special language to say certain things. If we monitor regularly, some of those might be to convey us about an urgent/upcoming need to go to the toilet.
- When a child gives verbal signals, you may offer them to use the toilet seat and let them make the decision with forcing them.
d) Walking into the washroom with the diaper on
We all must have witnessed children walking up to the toilet on their own; probably to indicate that they want to use it. If your toddler is willingly and comfortably wanting to be inside the washroom, you can offer them to use the potty seat. Bingo, if she/he uses it, then you’re on the right track towards potty training J
e) Wanting to use the washroom to do potty in the diaper
- A possible scenario can also be that your toddler walks or crawls up to the washroom but insists on using a diaper. My son would do that for potty till he turned 3! He found the potty seat too intimidating. “I’m scared” were his
- Let your child walk or crawl up to the washroom, making her/him comfortable with surroundings and idea of the washroom first. Try to only then begin with potty training.
- Experts suggest that we should avoid letting our child use the potty training seat in various parts of the house, as it may send the wrong signals.
2) At what age can you start potty training your toddler?
- Studies by Experts suggest that there are no age-parameters to train the toddlers, they can begin showing signs of readiness as early as 1 year.
- Most toddlers would be okay to be potty trained before 2 years, although the complete successful training process may take 2 weeks to even a few months.
- “By the age of 4 your child should ideally be completely potty trained. If not, don’t fret. Not every child has to follow the norm” – concludes an expert.
3) How to get your toddler interested in potty training?
- We should only draw them towards using the toilet, and not force them! Experts reveal many Examples where toddlers were potty trained only because their Parents could use the attractive gear they had bought for them to use. Gears like – potty chair, toilet seat covers, fancy bathroom fixtures, toddler toys, and other toiletries.
- Some kids may also be attracted by the sound of water flowing out of the water faucets, which could turn them to sit on the toilet seat just so that they can watch water flow. In this case, you can buy them attractive potty trainers/seats and accessories and then offer them rewards as they use the same or as they progress, as the case may be.
- Very importantly, you should more often applaud to encourage your kids, every time they are successful at using the toilet.
4) Parents need to show toddlers how to use the toilet by demonstration
For boys :
- Daddy’s can convey the idea of standing up and peeing. It makes more sense to them when their father can actually demonstrate instead of their mother just trying to explain.
- The parents should sit and show first, for teaching boys to sit on a regular adult toilet seat – demonstrating how the fixtures like flush, water jet etc. work.
- Ideally, boys should be trained into the habit of standing and peeing early-on.
- Keep a step stool/ladder in the washroom which your toddler can use to stand with your support, and pee directly into the toilet.
For girls :
- Mums can demonstrate every aspect of toilet training to a girl!” They should often talk about personal hygiene to even a tiny toddler.
- They can show a girl the best way to sit on a toilet and how to use it. Demos are real fun for toddlers J
5) How often should you take your toddler to the bathroom when potty training?
- For pee – the frequency depends on how often your child needs to pee, which may depend on their liquid consumption. Experts suggest, on an average, once every hour and a-half should be good.
- For potty – you should encourage your toddler to do it on the potty seat once in 4-5 hours, till it happens.
6) How long should your toddler sit on the potty trainer while potty training?
Well, you should try it not to be very long, just in your excitement to potty train. Make them use the toilet for a bit and then let go. She/he would often let you know if the potty is happening by continuing to sit longer, when actually it is.
7) Potty training a stubborn toddler!
- If your toddler still swears by the diaper, after all the efforts you have made to potty train her/him, let her/him be! Don’t force your child to potty train in such cases.
- The habit of using the diaper is what you gave them in the first place, so they may take some more time to switch!
- If your child is being stubborn, there is a reason behind it. Try and get to the reason first!
- A stubborn toddler needs patience, and again, you should more often offer them applaud and rewards to encourage them and see how they organically progress.
8) Home – the best place to potty train your toddler
- Home is usually the best environment for potty training the toddler, and not the school. One cannot expect a teacher to address your toddler’s specific potty training issues at any random time.
- Parents should start the process at home and then inform the teachers about the issues that they can expect, while also ensuring that potty training involves no stress or punishment at all.
9) Parents can See and learn from ‘Potty training videos for toddlers’
Parents can opt for some interesting and informative videos to learn ‘how to train their little ones to use the toilet’, to make the process exciting.