December 27, 2021
How to potty train my Child?
There are no easy or quick rules for potty training, but there are a number of suggestions that each family can adapt to their child. It should be borne in mind that these rules are guidelines. Parents should also be guided by intuition and knowledge about what their child is like.
Maybe you are asking When to start training?
Potty training (pee and poo) usually takes place between 2 and 3 years of age, although some children may be able to do it later.
In a child's development, there is a stage when the child is already able to cooperate, which is around the age of two. At this age, the following can already be observed:
The child has sufficient physical readiness: he can walk unaided, has good hand coordination, is able to pull up or pull down his trousers, etc.
The child is already able to follow instructions: e.g. to sit on a chair, to stand up, to imitate someone.
Bladder control: you notice that the child urinates a lot at once (not small, frequent amounts), stays dry for 2 or 3 hours and you can tell that he/she is going to urinate by the gestures or posture he/she puts on.
It may be better to delay learning if these skills appear later, or if it is a time of change for the child, such as the birth of a new sibling, a change of house, illness or the start of kindergarten.
How to start training?
With patience and expecting the occasional mistake, which, if it happens, we will take with understanding.
At first we will let him accompany the parents to the toilet, which will help him to see everything more naturally and he may want to imitate them.
We will buy a suitable potty with the child's cooperation, choosing one that is large enough, solid and with a rigid base. You can also use a toilet bowl reducer. In this case, it is a good idea to put some kind of elevator on the feet so that he/she can support him/herself.
If possible, we should start training in good weather, to avoid the cold and excessive clothing that makes it difficult to manoeuvre.
Try to be alone with the child, avoiding distractions from other family members, television, radio, toys, etc.
Place the potty on an easily washable floor and in a pleasant room at a suitable temperature.
During the day we will not put nappies on the child so that he/she will notice when he/she has peed. He can wear a panty or a pair of pants that he has chosen and that he likes.
We will teach him to pull up and down his trousers, which should be as loose as possible.
We will sit him on the potty for a few minutes (no more than 5 or 10) after each meal and every 2 or 3 hours, offering him plenty of liquids to increase his desire to urinate. It is also advisable that the poo is not hard, so that he does not associate pooing with pain.
You can use a doll that drinks liquids and "goes wee-wee" to show her as an example: sit her on the potty and praise her when she urinates or show her how to do it on the potty. The child will enjoy the demonstrations and will tend to imitate what he sees.
Praise her efforts to learn with words, hugs and caresses at all times.
When the child pees or poos on the toilet, we will not get angry or shout at him/her. We will calmly explain that peeing and pooing are done in the potty, and we will encourage them that next time they will succeed. We will change his clothes and insist that he is dry and clean.
We will also teach older children how to use toilet paper, how to empty the potty, flush the toilet and wash their hands after the whole process is finished.
His attention must be caught before we tell him to do something.
Give instructions only when we are close to the child.
We will offer gentle manual guidance after 1 or 2 seconds of being told to do something if the child does not do it.
We will not give a new instruction if the previous one has not been carried out.
What NOT to do?
Do not show concern or obsession about the issue.
Do not punish, argue, shame or scold the child if there is a "failure". Children learn by repeating things, especially if they are pleasant.
Children should not be left alone for long periods of time, as they will get bored or play with the potty.
Above all, training should not turn into a power struggle between the adult and the child.
If the child refuses to sit on the potty, do not insist and turn it into a moment of anger. You can suggest it again a few minutes later.
Sometimes children refuse to learn, get angry and it is a very stressful moment for them and for the parents. In these cases, it is better to stop the training and wait for a period of time, which can be months, before restarting it.
I hope you find these steps helpful, but please always remember to be patient in this process.