Potty training is an important milestone in a child's development and as parents we are eager to help them cross it. However, there is no fixed age as when to start potty training. Many experts say there is no need to start before the age of 2.This is because toilet training depends on physical readiness as well as emotional readiness. However you are the best judge to decide when to start. If you have been trying to toilet train your child for several weeks and he/she is not responding, it might be best to take a break. It is really helpful that you do not pressurize them. If you start before your child is ready, it will simply make the process longer and tiring for both of you.
Here is a checklist that you can use to decide when to start toilet training your child:
- Physical signs: is co-ordinated enough to walk, urinates a fair amount at a time, has dry spells of about 2 hours or during naps.
- Behavioral signs: can sit in one place for 2 to 5 minutes, dislikes the feeling of wetness, takes pride in his/her accomplishments, gives a verbal or physical sign when passing stools, shows interest in others' bathroom habits, does not resist using the toilet/potty seat.
- Cognitive signs: can tell you before it is about to happen, has words for urine and stools, and can follow simple instructions.
You don't have to wait until you've checked off every item to start training. Just look for a general trend towards independence and an understanding of what it means to go to the bathroom like a grown-up.
Once you get indications that your child is ready to be toilet trained you can follow these guidelines:
- Encourage him/her to sit on the potty seat for a few minutes several times each day.
- This may sound odd; but you can show your child how you sit on the toilet and explain what you're doing. You can also have your child sit on the potty seat and make him/her watch while a sibling uses the toilet.
- Don't make your child sit on the potty against his or her will. Put your child on the potty seat for a few minutes or a couple of times a day, and let your child get up if he or she wants to.
- Have your child sit on the potty seat within 15 to 30 minutes after meals to take advantage of the body's natural tendency to have a bowel movement after eating (this is called the gastro-colic reflex).
- Follow a routine.
- Look for signs that he/she might want to use the potty and praise her him/her for giving any indication through words or gestures.
- Offer your child small rewards, such as stickers, every time your child goes for the potty. Keep a chart to track You can then convert the stickers into extra story or favourite meal, or a trip to the park, etc.
- Make sure all of your child's caregivers — including babysitters, grandparents — follow the same routine and use the same names for body parts and bathroom acts.
- You should stop using the diaper at least during the day so that he/she understands the feeling of wetness. You can try using training pants. Although that is not essential.
- And finally, let them take their own time.
Be sure to praise all the attempts of your child to use the toilet, even if nothing happens. And remember that accidents will happen. It's important not to punish potty-training children or show disappointment when they wet or soil themselves or the bed. Instead, tell your child that it was an accident and offer your support. Reassure your child that he or she is well on the way to using the potty like a big kid.
Click on the link to http://bit.ly/Appy_PottyTraining to watch a video for tips on potty training.
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