Guide to Basic Potty Training or Teaching
Potty training is a combination of preparation, patience and persistence. Only begin training when you are certain the child is ready and realize the process is going to by accomplished by many incremental steps.
The first thing to consider is waiting until they are as close to the age of 2 as possible. Potty training should not begin any earlier then 18 months. If training begins too early then it could cause a lot of frustration for the parent and child. Here are some of the signs parents should look for to know their child is showing toilet readiness:
1. The child might begin pulling off their diaper after they have used it. The dirty diaper is starting to get uncomfortable to them. Some kids will say "diaper" or some other word when it is ready to be changed.
2. The child will show interest in the toilet by watching closely how the parents use it. They might try to start flushing it and putting their hand in it because they are trying to figure out how it works.
3. Another good sign is that the child stays dry longer. As the child gets older the amount of diapers used will slow down because they are learning to control their bladder. The child will start to wake up in the morning and from naps with a dry diaper.
At the beginning stages of potty training the parents should not give the child a hard time if they can't hold it. The child is just beginning to learn and if the parents lose patience too early it could make the child resist training all together. The potty training process can take up to six months. After six months of trying every potty training technique under the sun, the parents might want to consult a doctor. The child should sit on the toilet for a few minutes a day, several times a day: maybe twenty minutes after each meal, before and after nap time and so on. The child should be applauded for sitting on the toilet even if nothing comes out. Eventually the parent will catch the child at the right moment and they will use the potty. The parent should show lots of excitement and happiness when this occurs to positively reinforce the behavior. When nothing happens, the parent's attitude should be "better luck next time" and appreciation for the child willingly sitting. When the child continues to get the hang of doing their business in the toilet or potty chair then moving them from diapers to pull-ups or underwear is the next step.
In the next stage the child will not want to wet or soil on themselves but has not fully grasped telling the parent it is time for them to go. It is in the parents' best interests to take the child more often because the child will hold it until they cannot any more. When the child starts to squirm, hold their genitals or just seem uncomfortable then there is a huge chance the child needs to go potty. Parents have to respond quickly to these signs before the river starts to flow.
The last stage is the potty professional. The child is completely in underwear and telling every caregiver when they have to go. They may even want to handle undressing and dressing themselves when they go to the toilet, so putting your child in pants with an elastic waistband can help encourage this step towards independence. Congratulations to parents and the child both!
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