There’s no point starting potty training until your child is good and ready. Babies who are allowed to achieve bowel and bladder control at their own pace learn to use the potty quickly and have few accidents, experts say. It’s only when parents interfere with their tot’s progress by enforcing timetables or expecting too much, too soon that things go awry.
The average age for dry days is between 2 and 2½, but several months on either side of that still count as normal.
Signs to watch out for are wiggling about or pulling her diaper after a pee, knowing when she’s about to go and telling you, understanding when you show her what the potty is for, and liking to sit on it, even if she doesn’t actually do anything. Toilet-training is a messy affair ¾ accept that accidents are inevitable. Whatever happens, don’t get cross. And when you do get a result, really let rip with the praise and encouragement. You’ll be so chuffed, applause will come naturally.
If you’ve tried everything and it’s simply not happening, it’s likely your tot isn’t ready. So, pop the diapers back on and wait another couple of months. She’ll get there eventually. Another common stumbling block is a refusal to poop on the potty. Toddlers often need the security of a diaper for a poop even after they’ve mastered pees on the potty.
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Get a training plan
* Talk to your child about what you plan to do, and get her excited about the idea.
* Shop for a potty together and tell your tot it’s hers. It doesn’t have to be fancy to feel special.
* Let her pick out some “big girl’s pants” at the shops, maybe featuring her favourite character.
* Choose a home for the potty and let her sit on it whenever she likes. When you think she’s ready, put her into pants, or just let her run around without anything on at home.
* Pick a time when you don’t have too much to do, because potty training will be the main event for at least a couple of weeks.
* Pop your tot on the potty after drinks and meals, or whenever she looks likely to go. * Ask her frequently whether she wants to go, but keep it relaxed. She’ll pick up on your anxiety, so avoid any potty pressure!
* Allow your little learner to show you how much control she’s got by letting her go whenever she wants ¾ she may just surprise you!
Graduating to the adult seat
When your child is able to use the potty regularly throughout the day, it’s time to encourage her to sit on the toilet bowl. Many children are nervous about sitting on the toilet seat because they fear falling off or even fall in. To make your child feel more secure on the large lavatory seat, try these tips:
* Use a specially-designed child-size seat that fits the lavatory rim.
* Suggest that she holds onto the sides so she feels balanced.
* Stay nearby until you are sure that she’s comfortable on the seat.
* To help her get up easily, put a small stool in front of the lavatory ¾ she can also use this to reach the sink.
* Give her a book to keep her amused.
Where do boys and girls differ in toilet-training?
Girls usually achieve bowel and bladder control earlier than boys. Here’s what to expect.
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Staying dry for the night
Once you’ve mastered dry daytimes, what about that nail-biting decision to go without diapers at night? That can take a bit longer, as 2- or 3-year-olds can’t hold on to urine for much more than four to five hours.
So, when should you take that leap of faith? If your tot wakes up dry after her afternoon nap, or is getting through most of the night with a clean diaper, you can start thinking about ditching those diapers completely. Or if your child says she doesn’t need a diaper at night anymore, give it a try. She may be right! But always encourage her to empty her bladder before she goes to bed.
Night lights are a good idea to encourage children to get up if they need the toilet. Or you can place the potty near their bed and explain what to do.
But many children just aren’t ready to come out of diapers at night until they’re months, maybe years, older. Don’t fret, it’s simply that their bodies have to develop to the stage where they can wake up if they have a full bladder.
Remember, babies are born wanting to be clean and dry ¾ our job is simply to allow them to achieve this milestone happily.
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