Potty training time can be very difficult for parents and their toddlers alike. While different children will always have different reactions to potty training, your child can experience apprehension, fear, and even anger at potty training time. There are many different studies on the subject of potty training. In this article you will learn the facts about potty training—the facts that are backed up by experts and researchers that have studied potty training methods and progress.
When you’re ready to start potty training your toddler, you need all the tools and resources you can get. Not having the proper resources can leave you lost and wondering.
In fact, that’s what happened to Sherry Clark. Sherry felt pressured by her in-laws to toilet train her daughter Cheyenne before she turned three years old. The problem was that Cheyenne didn’t display any signs of being ready to toilet train, and Sherry’s family sort of left her to make her own decisions. “I really felt like I was doing a terrible job as a parent, because Cheyenne didn’t want anything to do with potty training. In fact, I probably prolonged the process because I pushed her into training when she clearly wasn’t ready,” says Sherry. According to child specialist Theresa Cornwell, Sherry may be exactly right. “Toilet training depends on the parent and the child. Both have to be ready and prepared for the changes. Forcing a child to use the toilet may only stunt her progress.”
Sherry decided to simply wait and let Cheyenne come to terms with using the toilet before she tried to train her again. In just a few months, Sherry tried again and was successful. In fact, the actual training time went very quickly and with very few incidents.
Here are some of the best-known ways to toilet train your toddler.
Do Not Panic
Often, parents can think there is something wrong with their child because he or she is 3 or 4 years old and they aren’t potty trained. Children develop differently, and some children may simply be late bloomers. This is most definitely not a reason to believe there is something wrong with your child. The child’s gender may even have something to do with it. In fact, researchers have found that girls are easier to toilet train than boys are. There are many reasons that this is true, including the fact that girls comprehend language earlier than boys and may therefore understand your teachings more quickly than a boy would.
One of the biggest messages that experts try to get parents to understand is that you shouldn’t panic. If your child is a late bloomer, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with him or her at all.
One of the most important things a parent can do when toilet training their toddler is to be consistent. This is the fastest way to teach your child how to use the toilet. For example, as soon as your child wakes up in the morning, take them to the bathroom.
Offer a small prize for using the potty. One thing that many parents do is to place a clear jar in the bathroom with small treats and cheap toys. The child sees this and knows that if he or she successfully uses the toilet, they will get one. Continue this every morning without fail so that your child becomes accustomed to and familiar with the process.
Another way that you can use consistency is to inform other caretakers of the potty-training plan. If your child just loves spending time with Grandma and Grandpa, and does so frequently, let Grandma and Grandpa in on the plan. This way, even if you’re not there, the same process will be followed, which should put the child at ease. If each different caretaker uses different methods to help your child use the toilet, it can get very confusing. By simply discussing the methods you’re using with any other caretakers, you can speed up the training time and keep things consistent.
When is Your Child Ready?
Although each child develops differently, experts agree there are a few things to look for that will signal your child is ready to begin toilet training. Since they will not be able to learn how to use the toilet until the muscles of their bladder and bottom are fully developed, you will want to look for the following:
- Your child can go several hours without emptying his or her bladder.
- Your child goes all night without wetting his or her diaper.
- Your child is mature enough to listen and understand what you say, as well as to communicate with you. This way, they can communicate the fact that they need to use the bathroom.
- Your child is starting to notice that when he or she eliminates in his or her diaper, it is dirty. They may not like the fact that they are dirty.
Any or all of these signs may tell you that your child is ready to begin potty training, and there are a few other things you will want to keep in mind when you are toilet training your toddler. Praise is the best method, and experts agree that a child should never be scolded for accidents. This could make them develop a complex about using the potty.
In fact, a study was done in which the researchers asked parents to praise their children and speak of defecation in a positive way to them. This study was published in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine. The researchers found that when parents spoke positively about defecation, the child was less likely to want to hide during the process and responded better to toilet training. It can be difficult to potty train your child, but with consistency and praise, you can soon say goodbye to diapers!