Saturday, October 1, 2016

Potty Training for Toddlers

Following some signs of readiness for potty training from Emma, we embarked on our potty training adventure at the start of this year!

At 2 years 4 months, she ditched her diapers when she was awake and started to use her potty regularly when we were at home and school. Things went on well rather quickly, with a couple of accidents, but we were hesitant to progress further. 

For months, we still put on diapers for her when we head out even though she insisted to go without diapers. We just aren't ready for wetting accidents and toilet trips outside home. Besides, she only poo-ed on diapers. We dragged on another 6 months before diving in to no diaper throughout the day when she was about 2 years 10 months.

Then weeks leading to her 3rd birthday, she began to protest against wearing diapers to bed every single night. We didn't give in as we weren't sure if she was ready. Then 2 days before her birthday, her desire to go without diapers intensified. She insisted that her butt was itchy and took off her diaper at bedtime. Thereafter, she stopped using diapers. With 3 accidents over 7 weeks, I think she is getting there slowly.

Looking back, it has been a pretty smooth sailing and child-led potty training journey. While I have no secrets to potty train toddlers in a week, I do have some useful information that might be helpful for potty training toddlers.

Starting Potty Training for Toddlers

1. Look out for sign of readiness

While some children started potty training between 18-24 months, there isn't any magic number as to when to start the training. From what I've experienced and read, it's probably best to wait till the child shows signs of readiness (read more here) to avoid unnecessary frustration and stress. We didn't want to rush things and just waited for Emma to show signs of readiness.

2. Get a potty

Before the start of the training, get a potty or adapter child seat that attaches to the regular toilet or toddler urinal (for boys). We prefer a potty (we bought ours from IKEA) over the attached seat as it's more convenient for Emma to clear her bowel without much assistance.  We placed it at the living room, prominent enough, to remind her to go potty when needed. At school, Emma uses a child toilet bowl and she loves it! 

3. Get used to the potty

It takes a while for the child to understand how the potty works. For the start, Emma sat on the potty with her pants on. After she got used to it, we guided her how to use the potty. She has no problem using the potty for her small business. However, she found it hard to do her big business using the potty and had to poo in her diapers. After much encouragement over months, she finally overcame her fear. These days, she gets really happy when she pooped!

4. Understand the potty business

Since children learn by imitation, a live demonstration helps them to understand all these toilet business. Emma was very motivated after observing how her older classmates and cousins make trips to toilet. Awkward it might sounds but we, parents, are used to being watched by our children when using bathroom, right? 

Besides demonstrating, we also talked about using potty, going toilet and watched potty training videos. Some parents also read picture books about potty training.

5. Build up the habit

Like many, it takes lots of reminders, praises and encouragements for Emma. There were a few accidents at the start and we had to reinforce all the teaching again. It is important for them to know that it's alright to make mistakes and they just have to learn from them. Sometimes we got upset but we tried not to in order not to demoralise her during real accidents.

At first, we thought that the school had started potty training, but they did nothing and had plan for training in 6 months' time. After sharing Emma's progress with the teachers, they help to encourage toilet trips as well.

As for the big business, we went slow for the start. After months of giving in to her pooping in the diapers as we didn't want to traumatize her, we went the hard way by not putting on diaper for her. She would usually head to the potty reluctantly after some tantrum. We also read books to her when she did her big business to distract and calm her down. A poo at a time, she slowly overcame her fear and big business has been much more rewarding for her!

6. Get some underwear

Or pull up pants? We did away with pull up pants after a while as she would do her business in them secretly. The underwear worked best as she was more conscious not to stay dry and head to the potty when needed. Her grandmother bought her really cute ones and she loves them.

7. Introduce night training

 The night training came months after she managed to stay dry consistently all day,  Like the day training, we went slow. In fact, Emma was ready weeks before we got ourselves ready with the night waking. 

Despite the 3 accidents over 7 weeks, I'm still hanging on since I found out bed wetting during night training is normal. More on her night training again, hopefully soon!

Happy Potty Training!

Some children get potty trained within a few days, but others can take several months. So, just relax and enjoy the growing process. Troublesome it might be, it actually brings great sense of achievement and satisfaction!


Disclaimer: This blog is in collaboration with Friso

Kids learn from experiences whether big or small, good or bad. That's why Friso provides the right nutrition for your child to be strong inside to take on challenge. Read more about child's learning and experiences on Friso's websiteFacebook and Instagram.

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