Grammy Tammy's top 5 potty training tips
Through the years, we’ve received tons of questions from parents about potty training. Some of the most common include:
At what age should I begin potty training my child?
How can I tell my child is ready for potty training?
How long does potty training take?
The most important factor to consider is that each child is unique. Teaching your little one to use the toilet is a journey, and the experience will vary for each individual. While there is no specific age when potty training should begin, there are some signs that indicate your child is ready to start using the bathroom on their own. Being aware of these cues, switching from diapers to underwear, and sticking to a routine are all crucial components of successful toilet training.
Follow these five useful tips to guide you on your potty training journey:
- Pay attention to the signs. Your child is ready when they start showing any of the following behaviors:
- Going into the bathroom frequently
- Pulling off their diaper or clothes in the bathroom
- Showing interest in bathroom activities, such as investigating the water going down the drain or wanting to sit on the toilet.
- Mentally prepare yourself. Potty training can be frustrating, and accidents are bound to happen. Naturally, things are going to get a little messy, so be aware of this before you start the process. Try your best to be patient, kind, and encouraging.
- Practice on the potty. When you and your child are ready, put them on the toilet (or use a training toilet) and let them do their thing. Once the child does their business, make sure to give them plenty of positive reinforcement in the form of words, applause, and hugs. Avoid giving candy, treats, stickers, toys, or other rewards, as this can set you up for failure. You want to make sure your child is going to the bathroom when they really have to go, not just when they want a treat. After all, your encouragement is what your child really needs.
- Make the permanent switch from diapers to underwear. While it can be tempting to reply on diapers for a quick run to the store or a visit to a friend’s house, it’s important that you trade in diapers for undies once and for all. This may mean your child will still have a few accidents, but understand this is normal behavior. Getting upset if your child wets or soils themselves is counterproductive. Accidents are a part of learning, and you should avoid punishing your child for learning to go to the bathroom. Though this can be frustrating, putting your child back in diapers (even if just for a day) will confuse your child and delay the process. Even though it’s tough, don’t give up! Once your child is able to wear underwear with little to no accidents for two weeks, that’s a great sign you’re on the right track.
- Stick with it! Remember: Each child is different! Don’t worry about comparing your little one to their friends or siblings. Focus on their own potty training journey. Some children may pick it up in two weeks, while it may take others a year. Don’t force it: just relax and take it day by day. Allow your child to guide you. Parents don’t always have the answer to everything, and that’s okay. When it comes to potty training, sometimes you need to just follow your child’s lead.
Hopefully, these tips can make potty training a positive parent-child bonding experience for you. Be sure to check back for more Grammy Tammy tips!