There are many milestones we celebrate on the journey of parenthood: a baby‘s first tooth, the first words and the first steps are common marks on parents ‘babies’ albums everywhere.
There are some landmarks, however, you will not find a card for – like toilet training your child. It is one of the less glamorous tasks of parenting (because, well, poo), but necessary, however. Here are some common stages of the process to help you navigate the transition from diaper to underwear with the baby:
- Ask a Specialist: My son is suddenly resisting toilet training
- When toilet training is not going to plan
1. Potty Training: Recognition of ‘time’
There are many influences that can determine when it’s time to start ‘Toilet Training’ 101:
- you booked a holiday and the ‘Kids Club’ only accepts children trained in restrooms
- the introduction of a brother has doubled the budget of his diaper and the time on the exchange table
- your child has reached the age when his or her diaper activity is similar to that of an adult adult. And as a cheeky person once said, that is not right.
Once you have decided it is time, also ensuring that your child is ready to begin training you will help you succeed.
Potty training schedule:
Signs of readiness in your child include:
- a regular schedule. If your baby’s diaper change schedule is still random, they may not be ready to identify the ‘must-go’ feeling. Waiting for a more predictable schedule ensures better insight into your baby and less “bumpy” wash cycles for Mom and Dad
- active interest in the bathroom. If your child has graduated from putting their Peppa Pig figures in the bathroom, wanting to sit on it, it may be time to get them on the bench.
- they can remove their diapers independently. If they can take their pants in the middle of the Target to run around the toys section, they can remove their pants independently to use the bathroom.
2. Potty Training: Make a plan or plan to fail
Plan your approach to toilet training as an athlete prepares for the Olympics.
You need mental preparation: put your head in the game. Set your performance benchmarks and expectations for the process. Did you define them? Great. Now lower them. Continues. Lower … lower … there you are. Do not listen to Ruth with perfect hair on the street, who tells her that Lucy just woke up one day and started using the bathroom without accidents. Ruth is probably lying.
Also prepare yourself mentally for many accidents. And prepare yourself mentally for many philosophical conversations in public bathroom stalls with your child.
Toddlers will get the hang of their own time; having low expectations ensures that you will not be disappointed when comparing your child with other people.
There is also physical preparation. It’s time to relax. You’ll be pounding on the sidewalk to buy all the necessary tools to put the child in underwear. A padded toilet seat, a dedicated infant potty, a storybook to present the conversation and a chart of rewards for positive reinforcement are popular tools considered by parents who have come this way before you.
3. Potty Training: Introduction
Once your baby has shown signs of readiness and your sticker table is on the wall, it’s time for formal presentations. As a positive first date impression, a favorable first encounter with the bathroom will ensure the success of the relationship. Ways to introduce the bathroom may include:
- taking your child to the bathroom when you have to go
- facilitating a new potty in your living environment
- reading children’s stories about toilet training
Remember, when it comes to hygienic introductions: do not force knowledge. If your child has an adverse reaction or is showing that it is not ready, take a step back and look for the signs of readiness to try again.
4. Excitement for novelty, followed by resistance to permanent changes
At first, the novelty of a new routine will seem exciting. Their applause will encourage them as their tinkling strikes the porcelain. They will rejoice with every new sticker that shines on your reward chart.
The novelty may, however, disappear. Children can gradually become less enthusiastic as the gravity of their new reality sets in. It is at this stage that many children begin to yearn for the comfort and ease of diapers (we do not do all after 18 false alarms in the bathroom).
Now it’s when real work begins and lower expectations of Peppa Pig’s center of gravity are crucial to its survival.
- Your baby can have many accidents this time. Some accidents because they were distracted by the game, others because they are looking for your attention, and some because they still do not have the way to anticipate the need to go yet. Parents’ tips at this stage include:
- buy underwear without description for this high turnover period. Character clothes become favorites that may not go through the wash cycle fast enough for them to wear out immediately
- unearth the size of the pants they just created. Once the volume of a diaper has disappeared, your baby may shrink in size
- consistency is paramount: keep cheering even after your hundredth visit to the bathroom, and try not to deny the opportunity to use the bathroom when asked, even if you suspect they do not really need to go. (We’re looking at you, 34 going to the bathroom after sleeping)
- Be open to adaptation: nothing will stop the toilet training process any more than impose a strategy that the baby is not responsive to. Sticker graphic not working? Find out what motivates you and incorporates this. Does your child have a favorite color? Try to buy underwear in your favorite tune to get a better buy. Not ready for a toilet seat? A small pot can help ease fear and uncertainty for new, cautious adopters.
5. Potty Training: Your new reality
In addition to the obvious benefits (money saved in diapers, nostrils saved from daily robberies on the changing table), once trained, the benefits to the baby are great.
Children trained in the toilet have learned the ability to self-control, have a greater sense of independence and self-esteem, and are considered more socially aware. Despite the less than glamorous process to get there, pros outweigh the cons when it comes to transition from diapers to underwear. Congratulations – it’s time to celebrate!