Around 2 years of age, you can start thinking about whether or not you want to start potty training with your little one. You also want to make sure that they meet the 5 signs your child is ready for potty training I have listed below.
Potty training is probably one of the most dreaded tasks we, as parents, are required to teach our children. Buuuut it is important that your child knows how to use the restroom on their own for obvious reasons – starting school, basic life skills, allll the moolah you will save on diapers!
A lot of times the reason you hear horror stories about potty training that goes on, and on, and on, is because the child isn’t ready to start potty training. I have put together 5 signs you should look for to see if your kiddo is ready.
I will also touch on some key pointers to keep in mind once you start potty training. Plus how to deal with bedwetting!
5 Signs Your Child is Ready for Potty Training
So your child is 2 years old and you are thinking about starting potty training. Or, maybe you have started potty training, but it isn’t going too well. Look for these signs to make sure your child is ready for potty training:
- Stays dry for at least 2-3 hours.
- Understands the idea of using the restroom on their own
- Able to communicate with you when they need to use the restroom.
- Interested in learning about using the potty themselves.
- Can undress and use the potty chair themselves.
Like I mentioned before, the majority of the reason a child can’t potty train is that they just simply don’t want to and aren’t ready. They need to have an interest in wanting to use the restroom on their own and take care of themselves.
How to Get Started With Potty Training
Okay, so you’ve figured out your child is ready to start potty training. But, now what?
There is no exact method to potty training that works, although there are many out there. The main points are exampling to your child how to use the bathroom themselves and helping them recognize their body’s signal that they need to go.
Here are some general guidelines to help you get started potty training your little one:
- Purchase a toilet training potty or seat. You will want to explain to your child what it is and how they will use it.
- Dress your child in clothing where they are able to undress themselves. For example, pants and shorts with buttons tend to be hard for children to get off themselves. Even though you will help them to the bathroom at first it gives them a sense of independence to do it on their own – and you want them to feel confident that they can do it on there own.
- Give your child the responsibility of telling you when they need to go. Constantly reminding them to use the potty won’t help them learn to listen to their body’s signal that they need to use the restroom.
- Wash your hands each time and tell your child to do the same. It is important to be a good role model for your child to develop healthy hygiene habits.
Practice, practice, practice. The only way your child will learn how to use the toilet alone is for you to practice with them and show them how.
Things To Keep in Mind While Potty Training
Here are some other tips you can use throughout your potty training journey that I learned while coaching and helping mamas, like you, through potty training:
Don’t expect instant success. You may hear other moms or family members talk about how they potty trained their child in just a few days or weeks. In reality, this is not the norm. Your child is going to have accidents and it’s going to take time for them to learn. Be patient.
Use training pants during the day and diapers at night. Potty training at nighttime is much harder and takes longer for children to learn. I’ll touch more on nighttime bedwetting in just a moment.
Praise never punish! To be successful at potty training your child needs to want to learn how to use the potty. You can create a positive and relaxed association by teaching to use the potty with praise rather than punishment.
Yelling or teasing after an accident can further the time it takes to potty train your child and create a negative experience with potty training for your child.
When your child has an accident don’t make a big deal of it. Offer reassurance to your child that everyone has accidents when they are learning how to use the toilet. Don’t punish your child for accidents.
What To Do About Nighttime Bedwetting
Bedwetting at night is super common. Children have small bladders that make it hard for them to hold their urine for very long. Plus they tend to be pretty sound sleepers and won’t wake up when they need to use the restroom.
Here is what you can do to help with nighttime bedwetting:
- Limit the amount of liquids your child drinks 2 hours before bedtime. This doesn’t mean they can’t have anything to drink before bed, but I wouldn’t suggest putting them to bed with a sippy cup of milk.
- Have your child use the bathroom right before going to bed and as soon as they wake up.
- Use training pants (or diapers at first) and invest in a mattress cover.
- Praise them when they stay dry and respond gently when they have accidents. Getting angry when they wet the bed won’t help you or them through their potty training journey.
- Tell them to use the toilet if they wake up in the middle of the night. Make sure they know it is okay to wake you, your partner, or older sibling up in the middle of the night if they need help using the restroom.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Potty training shouldn’t be as hard as everyone makes it out to be. Going in with a positive mindset can make all the difference. As long as your child is ready and interested and you provide guidance and positive feedback to your child potty training should be a success.
Start as soon as your child is at least 2 and show the 4 readiness signs. This will give your child plenty of time to get using the restroom down before it becomes a necessity – like for daycare or Kindergarten.