We are at our last step of the Potty Training Series with Tips on Potty Training Toddlers. If you have already read Part I and Part II of the series , you are now aware about how to begin elimination communication, read the signs of readiness for Toilet Training and how to introduce a potty chair.
TIPS ON POTTY TRAINING A TODDLER
According to studies, by the age of 2 and a half years 90% of Girls and 75% of boys have complete bowel control. However, if your little one is not there yet, it is not a cause to worry. If they have gained some control they will continue to improve this over the next few months.
BLADDER CONTROL IN TODDLERS
The bladder of a two year old is developed enough to hold urine for almost 4-5 hours. The muscle control and awareness of bodily functions is also at a higher level which gives more bladder control to a two year old. Keeping dry at night is still not achieved by many toddlers by this age. I am also experiencing this stage with my daughter where she is off nappies the whole day but has to put on one at night time. Here are some tips for bladder control for Toddlers-
- Start with Training Pants– First, you can move from Nappies to Training pants. These are either thickly padded cotton pants or pants with a waterproof cover. When a child is wet unlike the diapers which soak all the moisture, here the child is able to feel it and can no longer be comfortable about being wet. These are perfect for starting potty training as they are also able to control the mess from soiling all the clothes of the child. You may need to use this for about two-three weeks and then you can switch to normal pants because the child will be much more aware about his/her need to go by this period.
- Buy Underpants– Next step is to buy normal underpants for toddlers. You can buy these along with the toddler and according to their choice. Tell them that they are big boys/girls now and have the privilege of wearing these underpants. Buy some with their favorite cartoon character or in their favorite colors to get them excited about wearing these.
- Choose easy to remove clothes– Clothes like jeans or drawstring pajamas are not the best ones during potty training. Children should wear bottoms which they can easily remove by themselves and sit on the potty chair when they have the urge to go, so dress them accordingly. It is a good idea to start potty training during the summers when there are less clothes to remove and the urge to go is also less frequent than the cold winters.
- Achieving night time dryness– Once you find out that on waking up the night diapers are regularly dry, you can try to leave the nappies off at the night time. Encourage the child to empty the bladder before going to sleep and if the child gets up in between you should take them to the toilet. Keeping a potty chair near the bedside is also a good idea.
- Be prepared for accidents– Protect your mattress with plastic sheet /rubber sheet because during the initial stages of potty training there will be plenty of accidents. You can also put a protective sheet on your child’s bed sheet and cover it with a half sheet. In case during the nighttime there is any accident you can simply remove the top half sheet and spare rest of the bed sheet.
As mentioned most children have achieved bowel control by this age and can use a potty chair for this purpose. If your child has not done so yet don’t worry he/she will catch up soon. Meanwhile you can look at Potty training for Infants for some tips to introduce potty chair to your toddler.Once your child has been using Potty chair for some time you can now introduce them to the lavatory. Here are some tips :
- Most kids are not yet able to sit on the lavatory seat. Buy a special seat which fits on the lavatory rim, is cushioned and is easy to clean. Just like potty chair introduce it slowly and never force the child to sit on it. This is the seat that we are using for Samaira.
- Don’t flush the toilet when your child is with you -many get frightened by the noise it makes and might get turned off from using the toilet. Once they are used to the lavatory you can show how the flush works and magically makes the ‘poop’ disappear.
- Keep a step stool near the lavatory do that they can get up easily on the toilet.
- Have a spare Potty seat in your car so that you can use it while you are at a friend’s house or have to use a public restroom for the toddler.
- Always wash their hands after they have done their business so that they are in the habit of washing hands after going to the washroom.
The most important thing is that different kids are ready for toilet training at different times and it is a learning process for both parents and children which requires patience, perseverance and a sense of humor.I hope these tips will help you in Potty training your toddlers and achieving the goal of a Diaper-free home. In case you have any queries or tips of your own, please mention them in your comments.