Potty training is a huge milestone for toddlers. You should not begin potty training until your child is developmentally ready to do so. This includes if you’ve noticed periods of your child having a dry diaper (an hour or two) or during naps, or that you’ve just had to change fewer diapers than usual. Potty training occurs at a different pace for each child, and should be confronted with patience, but awareness. There are many strategies that work since children are so unique, but here are a few that may be universal.
1. Switch from diapers to a pull-up. This simple change helps your child get prepared for underwear. Pull-ups are still absorbent, and also disposable. Once your child is accustomed to pull-ups and has had a few successful rounds on the potty, you can try washable training pants.
2. Model appropriate behavior. Boys and girls can learn from a same-sex parent when available. If not available, simulating the experience with a toy or reading a book about the process together can help show a child what to do.
3. Set realistic expectations. Remember no two children are the same, not even siblings! What takes one child three months to learn, can take another child six. Also remember, that on average it takes about eight months for a child to be potty trained. Remain consistent and don’t give up. Accidents will likely occur even after your child is successfully potty-trained.
4. Use rewards and praise. Children learn through reinforcement, whether positive or negative. When your child successfully uses the potty, give him a reward and lots of verbal praise. He will then begin to understand that using the potty is the acceptable behavior.
5. Remain consistent and get support. As with all things child related- consistency is truly key here. Your child is not going to learn to use the potty if only presented with the opportunity once a day. Give your child many opportunities to use the potty, continue to encourage him even when he makes mistakes, and make sure everyone involved with your child is aware of his potty-training goals.
Here at Imagine we have programs that support parents and their children through all developmental stages. Parents and staff can communicate through the Kindertales app for updates regarding your child’s day. These updates can include activities, feeding, sleeping, and diaper changes- great for those who are beginning to practice potty training. Parents are also encouraged to drop in or call anytime. The open-door communication policy is a great way Imagine supports parents and children who are beginning the potty training process.