Potty training is an important milestone in a child’s life. Daytime and nighttime potty training are two totally different issues. Children learn to stay dry during the daytime faster and it is easier compared to nighttime. In this post, I will write only about daytime training in this article.
Children should be potty trained before joining a nursery. Many schools have this as a mandatory policy. Around the age of 3 or 4, most children stop wearing diapers. Occasional accidents might happen but they soon learn to hold it. It takes around 3 days to train a child. In my case, It was possible because I was with my child the whole day. That’s how I was able to manage the timing. I would like to share some tips which worked for me and believe will help others as well who are in similar situations.
You will need books. Not self-help books for parents but books for toddlers and preschoolers. You might be wondering what potty training has to do with books. Believe me, books have been a big part of training.
It sounds funny when I say this but for a child or even an adult, to sit still on the pot for more than 2 minutes is boring and daunting. While training they have to do this every hour. They will cry, throw a tantrum and resist. To avoid this, you have to keep them busy and find ways to entertain them. I feel taking a toy to the toilet is unhygienic. I am not suggesting taking a book inside either.
It goes without saying that books take the reader or listener to another world. It takes the mind off any problem or difficult situation. And it is the best solution to pass time.
This is what I did to keep my child busy and patient while training. I sat on a stool outside the toilet and read him his favorite books. I read them animatedly to keep him interested. I had kept some books aside just for this purpose. I didn’t read those to him any other time during the week except during potty training. Anytime I thought he is losing patience, I would say “Do you what happens next?” Or “ Let me read you another book?” Talking about books is another way to change the topic.
Every hour I took him inside and read his books. I asked him questions about the story or we just talked about random things. After 3 days, I increased the time duration between two visits. It worked very well.
If you are thinking, why not watch youtube videos to keep the child busy? My answer is that watching videos or playing video games, takes away too much attention. The child will completely forget why he sitting there in the first place.
Additionally, buy a potty ring with your child’s favorite character on it. We had a ‘Thomas and friends’ themed potty ring. In the beginning, boys also sit on the ring for peeing. The new underwears also have to be of the child’s favorite character for encouragement.
Tell each other before going to the toilet. This way they will start telling you when they have the urge. A new house rule is to be introduced which is going to the toilet before going out of the house.
Also, washing hands properly has to be taught. What will help is: A bubbly soap, a rhythm to sing when washing hands, a cute little towel, and a step stool to reach the sink.
There are several cute toilet training books for toddlers. It is good to read some of these to encourage them.
The essentials of potty training are a Tiolet ring, wet wipes, toilet paper, new underwear, bubbly soap, small step stool for reaching the sink. We had bought everything with his favorite book character on them.
The right time to start potty training is when you have time and patience. Every child has a different personality. The time taken to learn any skill will be either longer or shorter. Please don’t compare them with other children or come under pressure to train the child when you are not ready.