The other day while I was getting my hair done, my stylist was expressing her concern that she that she had missed the opportunity to potty train her daughter. She said her daughter had seemed ready, but she waited because they were going to move in three weeks. I tried to reassure her that she probably made the right choice, there may have been regression after they moved. As a mom and nanny I often get asked to help with potty training and have helped in many families. I also get asked for simple advice, when parents are stuck. Here are the main tips I give when potty training. Often times, unless I know the family well I cannot give specific advice, but here are some general tips that should help all families.
Wait Until Your Child Is Ready: This is my biggest and always my first piece of advice I give to parents. Trying to potty train a child who isn’t ready is like hopping into a cold shower and hoping it does warm up. It might, but not always. I am not a fan of potty training boot camps, because to me they do not work. Yes, I have seen them in action and the usual result is a child who is mostly potty trained, but still has an accident almost every day. If your child is still soiling themselves often and you have to constantly remind them to use the bathroom, I am sorry, but they are not potty trained.
I also understand that some children need to be potty trained at a certain age for their daycare, if that is the case, Start early. Give your child at least six months to figure it out from start to finish. This will help with my next piece of advice.
Do not stress about potty training. Much like everything in life, the phase will pass and your child will learn to use the bathroom. If they are not potty trained by age 5, maybe it is time to contact your pediatrician, but until then, be patient. Potty training does not need to be a bad memory. I barely remember potty training at all and I have worked with multiple children on potty training.
Do not compare your child to others. Like all aspects of parenting and children, all kids are different and will take a different amount of time to potty train. I have seen kids potty train in weeks and others took months, almost a year, even. Do not get sucked into mommy competitions. There is no reason to rush or worry if your child is taking longer than others. Also, do not start too early because Susie was potty trained at 18 months does not mean you need to rush your child into it.
Positive reinforcement is best. Your children feed off of your positive energy and affirmations. If you give high fives and clap when your child pees or poops in the potty odds are they will want to impress you and try again. Keep it up! They will figure it out and your positive attitude will help as well. Reading while sitting on the potty always helps, too.
A few other tips that may help are to always have your child use the bathroom before you leave the house and before bed. If you are hesitant, use a pull up at night or for trips to the store, until you are certain they are ready for underwear. Also, this Travel Potty
is very helpful for long trips or parks that do not have bathrooms. But, seriously, why do they do that?!?
I hope these tips are helpful and best of luck potty training your little one!