Taking off the diapers, going potty, being potty trained. Since the baby was born, we know that we will have to help him or her through this stage. As trivial as it is, it sometimes leaves us helpless. Here are a few tips to help you get through it.
Table of Contents
- Choosing the right time to potty train
- Establish a routine when your child is ready for the potty
- Removing the diaper, a major step
- Cleanliness: separate day and night
Choosing the right time to potty train
First of all, it’s important not to force your child to be potty trained. Some children are not particularly motivated to be potty trained. They like the comfort of diapers and the attention of their mother when she changes them. It is important not to start a “war” on potty training as the child may become resistant. Especially as this phase generally occurs around the age of 2, the age of “no” is conducive to all kinds of challenges: it is preferable that the acquisition of potty training should not be an issue of opposition. If he doesn’t want to start, don’t insist and come back later. Your flexibility will reassure him. Do not make him feel disappointed, do not compare him to others who are already clean, do not humiliate him by calling him a baby. Let a little time pass, a few weeks, so that the first attempt’s failure is forgotten, and talk again with him by reformulating all the advantages of being clean. Usually, the next attempt is the right one.
Establish a routine when your child is ready for the potty
When you think your child is ready, it’s a good idea to establish a routine. Always remember: encourage, not force! First, buy a potty that’s functional, unadorned and, above all, stable. The feet should touch the ground. Then put it in the toilet. The child must understand the function of this room. Don’t be bashful and show yourself on the toilet. It is important that he sees your movements, explain to him what you are doing. By imitation, he will undoubtedly want to sit on his potty. Even with his clothes on! Encourage him to do so. It’s even better if he wants to take off his diaper himself. You can also place it in the potty to show him clearly what its function is.
Once he’s familiar with the potty, invite him to sit on it at the most convenient times of the day: when he wakes up, after meals or snacks, and before naps and bedtime to establish a routine. Children often send blatant signals that they are peeing or pooping. In this case, you can guide him to the potty before he goes in his diaper. Praise him even if he doesn’t make it in time! Positive reinforcement is still the most effective technique.
Removing the diaper, a major step
Not putting on a diaper, with his agreement, is an important step. He is becoming big and independent. To underline this passage, you can go with him to choose big pants. Why not have them printed with his favourite heroes? He’ll probably choose those anyway. Don’t hesitate to remind him, from time to time, that he no longer has a nappy, but without insisting: he should be able to go for more than an hour without peeing. In case of an accident, a very busy game is often the cause, so don’t get angry! Change it without giving it more importance. In the beginning, you can also reserve diapers for specific times: a long walk, for example, where it is not always easy to find sanitary facilities, or a car trip to avoid too frequent stops. On the other hand, a child who experiences a series of failures should be allowed to wear a diaper again if he/she expresses the desire to do so, without shame or punishment. The experiment can be repeated in a few weeks or months when the child is more willing.
Cleanliness: separate day and night
Some children are clean during the day and night, but this is very rare! Night-time cleanliness often comes later, once the daytime cleanliness has been acquired. Indeed, the pressure is not the same since there is no school at stake. Also, it’s better to wait until your child is familiar with daytime potty training because the night is a long time, and it’s even easier to forget while sleeping. To help your child, you can offer him diapers that he manages himself: he puts them on at night, takes them off and throws them in the garbage in the morning. This way, it’s his responsibility, and when he feels ready, he can even leave the diaper on. In this case, the toilet must be easily accessible and lit. You can also offer him a potty at the foot of his bed, if he is a bit far from the toilet or if he is afraid to get up alone at night. Night-time potty training usually takes place six to twelve months after daytime potty training, although there are no hard and fast rules about this.
Don’t start a “cleansing war” because the child risks turning. If he refuses to begin, don’t press him and return to it later. Don’t let him know you’re disappointed in him and don’t compare him to others who are already clean.