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As parents, there are a lot of things that worry us when it comes to rearing our children. From what we should feed them during their first months to the potty training schedule or techniques we should use. These things occupy our minds.
But sadly, a large chunk of the whole process doesn’t have any guide on them. If only there’s an article on how to be a good parent, right?
Well, the good news is we do have some snippets here and there to give you an idea of how to do some things right.
In this article, we are going to talk about when the appropriate potty training age is and how you can go through it without too much fuss.
When Should You Toilet Train Your Toddler?
Of course, the first thing you need to know is when you can and should start the training. There are several things that need to be considered.
At what age should a child be fully potty trained?
The age when children are usually potty trained has drastically changed over the years. In fact, according to Potty Genius, around the 1950s, almost all babies were already potty trained before they turned 18 months old. Today, only 10% are potty trained at the same age.
This can be attributed to the fact that diapers became disposable and, therefore, much cheaper. Added to that is the commitment and level of difficulty that many parents are not too eager to embrace.
Today, the average age parents toilet train their children is 39 months (for boys) and 35 months (for girls). However, it is essential to note that it is different for everyone. Anywhere from 18 months is what experts consider a good time to start.
Is your toddler ready?
The best indication when you should toilet train your child is when they are ready. No amount of training can force them to learn something they are not, physically and mentally, prepared for.
There are signs that can tell you if your child is already up for it. It includes following and mastering simple instructions such as pulling down their pants while peeing. Change in behavior towards things that has something to do with going to the toilet is also a reliable indication. For instance, your child might show interest in wearing larger underwear, ditching the diaper. Or they could start demanding to get their diapers changed when it gets dirty.
These behaviors tell you that they have become interested in learning to go to the toilet, and they’ve done it at their own pace. It is imperative that we don’t pressure them into it.
Are YOU ready?
The effectiveness of this training is dependent on your readiness just as much as theirs. It is is not an easy task. More often than not, it is frustrating. There are a lot of potty training problems that you’ll encounter along the way, and the process can take up to weeks or months.
You have to make sure that you are ready to take on the challenge. It is crucial that you keep your cool as a parent. Be reminded that your child should always be given the time and support they need.
Essential reminders before you start toilet training toddler
- Be patient. Toilet independence can’t happen overnight.
- This isn’t a competition. Don’t make it one.
- The age your child is able to go to the toilet themselves has nothing to do with intellectual abilities in the future.
- There are a lot of ways to toilet train your child, and this is just one of them
Steps on How to Toilet Train Your Child
Step 1: Have a potty training schedule
Having a “schedule” with your child is an excellent way to start toilet training.
For example, every morning, you can allot 15-30 minutes without a diaper.
Over time you can modify it, with increasing difficulty. For example, on the second day, you can spend the whole morning without a diaper. On the third day, you can have the entire day. It all depends on the performance of your child. You can also put a potty in your car so that going out of the house won’t interfere with your sessions.
Step 2: Make them go to the toilet on their own
This is the main point why you’re here after all, but how can you do this? Simple, by letting your toddler run around your house without anything on. In their minds, if they poop or pee, there’s no diaper to catch it. An idea will pop in their head (“The toilet!”). That’s when you know the lessons from the previous days stuck.
In the merry event that they do go to the toilet, it’s a good idea to make them look and always show them how to flush. You can reinforce this by emphasizing on the sound it makes as you pull down the flush.
Step 3: Don’t let school interfere with the training
If you are toilet training your toddler, it will help if you mention this to their teacher. You can ask the teacher to remind your child when it’s already time to go to the toilet. This is also proper training so that your child will not be scared to go to the bathroom at school or other public places.
Step 4: Incorporate reward or positive reinforcement
Every time your child does a good job, make sure that you reinforce such good behavior with rewards. You can set milestones ahead (one whole day without diapers, for example) and give them something nice for each one accomplished.
Rewards can come as food, personalized stars, gummy bears, etc. As long as you know your kid will love it, it will work. These rewards, aside from the verbal encouragement and appreciation, will send a message that they are doing a great job.
- Show them how to do it
- Encourage them to do it in other places such as public areas
- Don’t give them too much to drink before bedtime
- Incorporate potty training into bedtime stories (read them books about it!)
Toilet training is perhaps among the things that worry most parents. If you are doing it soon, you have to remind yourself not to stress too much over it. It doesn’t have to be as frustrating as it seems. While it helps to have a potty training schedule, it’s ultimately a natural process. Your toddler will get it in time. Try to get yourself some fun while doing it.