Seeing your mini-me meandering about with a big, lumpy diapered bottom will remind you that she’s still a baby — but not for long. While it’s entirely possible to train an 18-month-old to pee and poo on a potty, your toddler is better physically, mentally and emotionally ready to bid bye-bye to her diapers when she’s between ages 2 and 3.
Watch for these signs to decide if your little princess is ready to take her throne:
• Staying dry for up to two hours at a time.
• Showing an interest when others use the toilet.
• Telling you she’s wet, uncomfortable and wants her diaper off.
• Being aware when doing a poo.
Get a potty for baby
Potty training takes patience so it’s important that you are ready. Conquering the potty is a huge milestone for your little one and you and while you’re getting all the necessary gear together — which includes a potty and lots of underpants — it’s also good to prime your peewee mentally. Put a potty in the bathroom, so it becomes familiar. And let her play with and sit on it for a few months before you start. If your friends are also in the midst of toilet training their children, bring your tot over to watch how the other kids use the potty.
Make the training fun
You’ll also need to decide if you’ll train with a potty or the toilet, or both. There are pros and cons to each. If you start with the toilet, you won’t have to make the switch later although a potty is very portable. Plus, the potty promotes independence, whereas your toddler will need assistance with the toilet. The most important thing with potty training is to make it fun.
When he is ready
You’ll know that your tyke is ready to go through the night without a diaper if she’s reliably dry during the day, the pull-ups she sleeps in are dry in the morning and if she calls for help in the middle of the night, or gets up by herself, to use the toilet.
Again, accidents are normal, so stock up on clean bedsheets and put an absorbent pad on the mattress. Most importantly, stay positive. Your child will find control in her own time but until then, don’t limit drinks at bedtime as you risk dehydration. And don’t wake your child to go to the loo before you go to bed. This encourages nighttime peeing — ultimately you want her to go through the night without needing to make a trip to the toilet.