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If it’s time for your kid to make the big transition from diapers to the potty, we have just the right advice to help you through the process. Here are our top tips on how to make potty-training a fun and stress-free experience.
Make sure your child is ready - Your child will exhibit certain signs when he/she is ready to make the jump. For example:if they start keeping the diaper dry for longer than normal, when they verbally express their need to go, or when they clutch at or pull down their diapers and wait. Most children start showing these signs at around 1 ½ to 2 years, but there is no fixed age. If your child is not ready, do not push them or insist that they go. This will be counter-productive.
Patience is key - Your toddler is not going to magically begin using the pot in one go. Give them time, patience and lots of love.
Create the right atmosphere - Your child needs to be in his/her own comfort zone. Don’t try and potty train your child while you are travelling or in a new/unknown place, or when your child is coping with other changes.
Make them comfy - Most parents prefer initiating this process with a toddler-size potty chair that can be moved around easily. Or you can simply buy a toddler-sized seat to place on top of your toilet seat. This will make your baby feel comfortable and secure. If the toilet seat is high, place a small stepping stool next to the toilet so that your little one can clamber on easily.
Establish a routine - Once your child is comfortable sitting on the pot, put them there several times a day and let them sit for a bit. Do this mostly an hour or so after they have had a lot of fluids. Look out for theirfacial expressions. Children tend to make different facial expressions when they need to use the toilet.
It’s okay to bribe... just a little bit - Offer your child small rewards every time they use the pot by themselves. This will give your child a feeling of achievement.
Find your own style - Understand your child’s personality to help make the process easier. If your child likes stories, read to them while they sit on the pot. Make up your own secret ‘toilet terms’ to make it more exciting. Make it into a game: tell your child they will get a sticker every time they remember to flush.
Be prepared for slip-ups - There may be times when your child may not make it to the pot in time. If this happens, do not raise your voice or berate your child. This will discourage them and it might take even more time for them to gain confidence again. Comfort your child and tell them that you’re confident that they will be able to do it next time.
Don’t throw those diapers away just yet - Even after your child has begun using the pot, it might be hard for them to avoid soiling themselves/staying dry all through the night. Keep the diapers on at night for an additional month or so after they have started using the pot, just to be on the safe side.
Good luck to all you mummies and daddies. If you have any concerns or queries, post them right here! And tell us about your potty-training experiences and tips.