So, you’ve moved your baby from milk to solids, watched her crawl, held her chubby fingers as she took her first step and clapped as she said her first words. And now, its time for her to graduate from her cloth diapers and use the potty. Scared, huh? You’re not alone. Here are some simple potty training tips to make the transition from diapers to underwear easy and painless.
When to Potty Train
More than your toddler’s age, are the signs of readiness that you must keep an eye out for. According to pediatrician Elissa Levine in Parents® magazine, there are six signs – interest in the potty process, telling you when she’s peeing or pooping, regular bowel movements, wanting to be changed after doing potty and the right time. The right time is when there aren’t any big changes coming up soon, such as starting preschool and also, when you, as a parent, have the time and energy to give to toilet training your little one.
What to Do When Toilet Training
Simply plonking your little one down on the potty and expecting him to “perform” won’t do it. Instead, approach this milestone like anything else. Be enthusiastic and encouraging. We spent quite some time introducing the potty chair to our toddler, laughing, clapping and talking about how cute and cool it was. Also, take your toddler to the toilet with you, if you’re alright with it. Let her see you use the potty. Familiarize her with the bathroom. Let her see you flush and practice good hygiene by washing your hands.
What to Expect When Potty Training
There are a few things that you should keep in mind when you start to toilet train your toddler. One, there will be accidents. Don’t make them a big deal. Empathize and encourage her to use the potty or to tell you when she needs to go. Keep away favorite rugs and bed linen. Let potty training be another opportunity to connect with your toddler and not a chore.
What You Need to Toilet Train
Here is a list of essentials that you’ll need when you start to introduce the potty chair to your toddler.
- Potty Chair or a padded toilet bowl ring to reduce the size of the grown-up toilet. You can choose a simple, functional potty chair, such as this one from Baby Bjorn or a fancy one with music and cute looks, like the Fisher-Price Cheer for Me Potty.
- Step Stool. You can invest in a potty chair that comes with a step stool as well.
- Training pants: You can choose from either cloth or disposable one. just ensure that they’re soft, easy-to-pull on and off and absorbent.
- Cloth or disposable wet wipes to make cleanups easy.
- Clothes that make going to the toilet easy. Think, dresses and skirts for girls or elastic waistband or drawstring pajamas for both girls and boys.
- Books and DVDs that talk about potty training. Check out this review of The Magic Bowl, a potty training DVD and a list of potty training books for kids.
Potty training is an important and essential transition for your toddler. Make it easier by being encouraging, appreciative and patient. Before, you know it, your little one would be using the potty and enjoying it too!
Photo Credit: Abigail Batchelder