There is no right or wrong age to potty train your baby. Each child shows a natural readiness and the age at which this occurs varies from child to child. Kids gain control over their bladder and bowels at different ages and while most get trained between 1 to 3 years, some may take longer than that. Here are X easy ways to potty train your baby.
1. Keep a positive attitude
This is one of the key steps to potty training your child. Be positive about every little step- encourage the child to bring the potty in the room. Praise the child even if he/she is not performing on it initially. Make the entire experience positive. The more relaxed you are; the happier your child will be during the training process.
2. Talk to the child about it
Before you begin potty training your baby, talk to her/him about it. Say you are going to make a special trip to the store to buy special potty and special pants. You can use educational tools (books, CDs etc) to discuss potty training in a child-friendly manner. You can also decide upon special words for poo and wee and use them consistently. Tell all your friends/family members/babysitters about these words for consistency.
3. Be consistent
Potty training cannot be accomplished overnight. It will take an entire day or two to simply introduce the child to the potty. It will take a lot more time to get the child to actually using it. Of course you will be busy and have your own life, but consistent efforts will bring rewards. Remember this is one of the easiest ways in which you can potty train your baby. If you are traveling, make sure you buy disposable pull up pants for the baby but also carry a collapsible light-weight potty which is easier to carry.
4. Get the child to drink more water
Apart from keeping constipation at bay, the child will also get more opportunities to use the potty. So encourage the child to drink at least 6-8 cups of water or fresh fruit juices. Then, each time one has to ‘go’, make sure s/he uses the potty. In fact; after the child has had a drink, make him/her sit on the potty for at least a few minutes. In case s/he asks for the potty in between these session too, ensure encouraging and praising him/her for it. In case your child has a very fixed pooping schedule, get the potty training to coincide with the same.
5. Dress the child in easy and comfortable clothing
Avoid dressing the child in rompers or buttoned pants or shorts that are harder to remove. Pull up pants are the best as they enable the child to easily remove them when s/he wants to use the potty.
6. Use prompts and gentle reminders
There will still be some time when the child has an accident and poos or wees outside the potty. Make sure you gently tell the child and remind her/him to use the potty the next time. If s/he is successful, make a huge fuss and go out of your way to praise the child. You can also involve the entire family/friends and babysitters to do so as well. Sometimes kids tend to get involved in their play and, as a result, forget using the potty. So reminders are a must. If accidents do occur; simply clean and change the child without much fuss. Sometimes the child will seem to lose interest in using the potty. So praise him/her and use stickers or small rewards to reinstate their interest in using the potty.
7. Use musical potty
Child friendly musical potty is a great incentive for the child to use the potty. These activate when the child uses it and is one of the easy ways to potty train your baby.
8. Create a pleasant environment
The child will use the potty provided s/he knows where it is kept. Keep the potty in the same place always after use each time. You can also keep some toys, books etc around the potty for the child to use. Creating a pleasant and positive environment will help the child learn faster. If the child starts running away, share something fun with him/her. Tell them a story or recite a nursery rhyme together. This is one of the easiest ways to potty train the baby quickly.
9. Watch out for tell-tale signs
This is especially the case when a child has to wee. Some kids might ask for their nappy; others tend to wiggle around. Encourage the child to use a potty when these occur. Praise and reward the child each time s/he uses the potty.
10. Consider delaying the training a bit
In many cases, the child is just not ready to start using the potty. It takes different times for children to master bowel control. If you feel your baby is not yet ready for it, you can delay the training by a few weeks. Be sure to try again after a few weeks as it will definitely go a lot more smoothly by then. This is one of the effective easy ways to potty train your baby.
11. Talk to your child’s nursery teacher
If your child goes to daycare/nursery make sure you discuss potty training with the attendant/teacher so that the child also uses one there. If possible, check the potty being used there and buy a similar one for home use.
12. Move to the toilet eventually
Potty training is not the final goal- the child must eventually learn to use the toilet. For many kids the progression from potty to the toilet is a natural one-for others, not so. Get a step high enough for the child to use. Also buy a toilet ring for the child. Boys end up copying their older brothers or dad and pee standing up. This can get messy, but do not scold the child. Make sure they also learn to sit on the toilet seat. You must also slowly teach them to wipe with toilet paper. This will come at a later stage though, once the children have better hand coordination skills.