How do I start potty training my child? Is it too early? Will I wait too late? Is my child ready? What do I need? As a mom of 4, I know I have asked these questions and I’m sure you have too! First, I would like to start by saying, the answers to these questions will be different for every mom, because every child is different and has their own unique personalities and needs. In this guide, you will find steps to take to start successful potty training.
When is my child ready to start Potty Training?
As I mentioned earlier, every child is unique and has their own personalities and needs as well as their own developmental “readinesss” for potty training. Some children maybe ready between the ages of 18-24 months, while some aren’t ready until age 3. THIS IS OKAY MOM! All children reach different developmental milestones at different times in all areas of growth and development. It is important to know where your child is and work with that.
These are a few questions to ask yourself to see if your child maybe ready to start potty training:
Is your child showing interest in potty training?
Is your child older than 24 months?
Does your child get really upset about being messy?
Does your child already have somewhat of a “bathroom schedule”?
Am I ready for my child to be potty trained?
If you answered yes to these questions, then more than likely you and your child are ready! It’s very important to pay attention to your child before you start potty training. If they are showing interest in potty training, it’s a good idea to give it a shot before the interest disappears. There is no age set in stone for beginning potty training, but between 24-36 months are the prime ages. Children who do not like to be messy will be easier to start training with. This goes the same with children who seem to “go” at around the same times daily. The last question was for you mom! Remember that successful potty training requires consistency, attention and a lot of patience. In order to start successful potty training, its just as important to be sure that you are ready!
What supplies do I need?
Again, the answer to this will be unique to every family and home. You have to go with what works well with your needs. A few general supplies to start successful potty training include:
Pull-Ups or Undies
I know there is some debate on whether moms should decide to use disposable training pants or undies. Some moms prefer to go straight to undies and by pass the pull-ups while others choose to start with disposable training pants. What has worked from my experience is beginning with pull-ups. This is to introduce something other than the diaper, that has some similarities. Once you see progress with the pull-ups you can start to introduce the undies. I find it very convenient to have pull-ups for outings and night time. When we have days that we will be home most of the day undies it is! Here are some choices for pull-ups and undies .
I have found great success with using a potty chair. Trying to go straight to the toilet has been almost a nightmare experience. Potty chairs make the training experience a bit more comfortable for children. Although this may differ from child to child. Some may like using training seats that fit on top of the toilet. Find what works for your child and go for it!
Easy Pull Up and Down Pants
To make life much easier for you and your little one I would highly suggest you dress your child in clothing that is very easy to get up/down and on/off. There is nothing more frustrating for you and for your child, than for them to have to go and they miss an opportunity because of a button, snap or a zipper. So please mom, save yourself a lot of time and struggles and use bottoms without buttons or zippers.
Toilet Paper/Flushable wipes
Protective Mattress Cover ( You do not want to have to clean a mattress….trust me!)
Reward/Progress Chart (with stickers)
This is super-duper important! Your child needs and wants motivation! Good behavior will more than likely continue when its rewarded. After your little one has a successful pee or poo allow them to choose one of their favorite stickers and place it on their chart. Then when their chart has a certain amount of stickers allow them to choose a bigger prize. I cannot tell you how much success I have had incorporating this reward system along with potty training!
Consistency is key to having successful potty training
Okay mom, its time to talk consistency. You can have checked to be sure your child is ready, have all the supplies you need and even start training and have a successful week or 2, but then what happens when the accidents start? You’re frustrated and your kiddo is too, but please don’t give up! Your little one has shown interest and it’s vital that you don’t give up during your child’s peak interest. Accidents will happen! But then tomorrow is a new day, with new hopes to try again!
I hope this guide to how to start successful potty training has been helpful to you! Remember to assess to see if you and your child are ready, gather your supplies, plan out your routine and rewards and get to training!