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Potty training is one of the important milestones in a child’s life. Potty training is a process that takes a lot of time to get right though. Some parents believe that when you start potty training too early, it is going to take more time to nail the feat. Others are of the opinion that the earlier you start, the better it is.
What is right when it comes to potty training? Are all the parenting tips floating over the internet leaving you confused? Do not worry. This article is all that you need to tackle this elusive topic.
What’s potty training?
Potty training is the process of helping your child understand the body’s demand to empty the bladder and the bowels. Infants are used to peeing and pooping in their clothes or diapers as and when they want to. With potty training, children can start controlling their need to pee or poo. They will understand they want to empty the bladder or bowels and wait for you to help them to the potty seat.
Why is potty training important to the child and the parent?
For the child, potty training is a milestone that marks the readiness to go to school and to face the world. It also means the child can now recognize bodily demands. For the parents, this means lesser use of diapers, lesser risk of accidents that need to be cleaned. It also means knowing the fact that the child is growing up from a dependent infant to a toddler at last.
Potty training around the world
Just like how different children achieve various milestones differently, potty training also differs from one child to another. Did you know that the time by which parents start potty training vary from region to region?
In some parts of Africa, toilet training starts as soon as the child is 4-12 weeks old. Parents in many parts of Asia train babies as soon as they can sit independently. The children are made to sit on the legs of the parents and trained to pee and poop at regular intervals throughout the day. This makes it easy for the child to transition to a regular potty seat later.
Caucasians are slightly more relaxed and take up potty training for their children at an average of 24-36 months.
Potty training techniques have also differed through the last century.
The first recorded potty training method was constructed by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton in 1962. He used a ‘child readiness approach’ and analyzed the average readiness for potty training in 1170 children. All these children started training at the age of 18 months and he noticed that the mean age at which children achieved the feat was 28.5 months.
Some studies also mention that girls potty-train faster than boys.
According to a 2004 study of 406 children, only 40-60% of children complete potty training by 36 months of age. Others kids can take slightly more time to achieve 100% potty training.
What is the right time for potty training?
Experts in India suggest starting potty training at around 18 months. Most kids should be fully potty trained by 36 months.
In a lot of families with two or more kids, one child gets potty trained easily while the others could show resistance, anger, and an inability to get away from diapers. It all depends on the individual kids. If you are thinking of weaning off of diapers, you have to ensure your child is ready to be potty trained!
How does one do it? There are a lot of subtle and implicit cues you can look for to know if you can potty train your little ones. Check this list out.
- Does your child communicate when he/she wants to pee and poop?
- Can you identify that the child needs to go? (change of mood, hides behind furniture, wriggles and tries to control bowel movements)
- Is the child able to remove the pants and put them back on independently?
- Has the child stopped pooping at night while sleeping?
- Is the child able to control bowel and bladder movements?
- Can the child follow basic commands?
If the answer to all these questions is a yes, then your child may be ready to get potty trained. It is to be remembered that you need to be ready for the milestone too. Potty training may take weeks and sometimes months to master and you need to be patient, encouraging, and available during this period.
Preparing the child
Once you have seen that your child is ready for potty training, start by investing in a potty seat. It could be a stand-alone seat or a regular toilet-adapter seat. Colorful seats are more attractive. You could start by explaining to the kid why a potty seat is now needed and what happens to the pee and poop. You can even try showing the little ones how adults in the family use their toilet seats.
Let the child explore the seat by sitting on it fully clothed. Slowly take the kid to the seat once an hour, even if the child does not use it. Patience is the key here.
Things to keep in mind
- Keeping the child in disposable diapers all day and night long is going to tell the child there is a safety net and is going to postpone the training process. You can pick training pants instead.
- Accidents are going to happen. Follow a positive parenting style and be ready to clean up. Encourage the child that it will get better with time.
- Always carry extra clothes if you take your child out. It is easy to deal with pee and potty accidents when you are prepared.
- Do not use force to potty train. It is only going to make the child fear the process.
- Try getting potty training books and toys that can help create an interesting story around the process.
- Stay calm. Some kids learn quickly while others take time. Do not compare the child’s progress with anyone else’s. All little ones achieve baby milestones in their own sweet time
- Put on clothes that are easy to remove. Our onesies and rompers come with button clasps at the bottom that make it easy to remove and put on in a matter of seconds!
Potty training, once complete, will give you and your child an abundance of freedom to explore the world without tagging behind diapers, tissues, and changing mats. Talk to the family before starting the process and get their support too.
Do not associate the process with unhealthy words like ‘dirty’ or ‘yucky’. Make sure your child associates potty time with positive memories.
How did you start potty training your little one? Do you have more tips and tricks that will help? Let us know in the comments.