Potty training is an individual process for each child. There are many methods to help a child graduate from nappies to the big toilet and the ages that a child will be ready to do so vary as well.
Most children are potty trained somewhere between 18 months and 4 years of age. Your child may seem like they will "never" get there, but unless they have a developmental delay, you need not worry.
How Not to Go About It!
So how exactly do you potty train a kid? Well, there are certainly some things that you should not do, so let’s start with those:
- Don’t punish your child for going to the bathroom in their nappy. This is something that they have been doing all of their life. That may not have been a long time, but it’s a habit that they are used to. It will hurt and confuse them to be suddenly punished for something they have always been allowed to do.
- Don’t compare your child to everyone else’s children. As state above, all children are different and this will only cause you stress. I love the saying, “Your child will not be wearing nappies in college.” Toilet training WILL happen.
- Don’t obsess over one day. This is a situation in which you need to see the forest, not the trees. Don’t worry if your child has more accidents one day than they do the next. This probably doesn’t mean that they are regressing, it’s just one day out of many. The overall pattern will keep moving forward to normal toileting.
What You SHOULD Do
- Encourage, encourage, encourage; you can’t do this enough. Children, like all othere people, thrive on being told that they are doing something right. Even if your child is younger than two, if they are showing interest in the toilet, other than flushing things down it, praise them for it. If they want to flush it just to hear the sound, let them do it!
- Talk it up, not down. Use terms Big Boy or Big Girl. Keeping the vibe positive is always a plus. Kids are drawn to pleasing their parents naturally when they are not scolded.
- Reward them. This can be controversial as some parents think that you shouldn’t bribe a kid, but a new Hot Wheels car for each successful toilet poo made my first little guy happy!
- Let them go without nappies. This is also a controversial method. It has worked well for many people, but hardwood floors and baby gates may be necessary. Some have had success with this method in just a few days. I believe it depends on the kid. Some are grossed out by bodily functions and will run to their little potty easily. Some will play in their poo.
- Use the buddy system. Keep an open door policy for a while. Let your child see that his family uses the toilet too. If your child is old enough, talk to them about their friends, siblings, or cousins who are toilet training.
As with other childhood phases, this one is sure to be short-lived, so laugh over the funny stories that are sure to happen and don’t wish away these precious moments.
Please be aware that the articles on this site are written by mothers who are discussing their own experiences and their own opinions. They do not, and are not meant to, represent professional advice and should be read with that point firmly in mind.
Our children’s welfare is paramount; if you are ever in the slightest doubt about any aspect of caring for a child you are urged to seek qualified, specialist advice from a professional advisor.