Potty training can be a process of trial and error. It can be both exciting and quite frustrating. Rest assured, eventually your child will be potty trained. There are very few teenagers running around in diapers!
That being said, there are proven potty training strategies that have worked for parents over the years. Let’s take a look at a few of them to make the potty training process as easy and painless as possible.
1. Avoid "nappy training" your child. Nappy training occurs when a child associates the presence of a nappy with going to the toilet and becomes distressed if they need to "go" when the nappy is removed. Encourage your child to go if they need to while you are changing nappies so that they don't form this association. This can be done from a very early age; some parents practice "elimination communication" from a few weeks or months old. Using elimination communication full time is quite a bit of work for the parent, though, as it is toilet training for the parent, not the child. But once you are in tune with your child's rhythms and toileting cues, you can cut down on the number of nappies you're using.
2. Remember that you are training yourself as well. If you're not paying attention to your child's cues, it's not fair to get frustrated if you're too late to help them avoid an accident. Eventually both you and your child will get into a routine that makes the process a lot easier.
3. Have a positive mindset. Mistakes will happen and children will make huge leaps forward only to then have really bad potty days or weeks. Stay focused on having a positive attitude. Recrimination, punishment and yelling only makes a child feel bad about themselves, it doesn’t further the potty training process.
4. It also helps to have potty training friendly clothing. There’s nothing more frustrating than a child who tells you they have to go potty and then having them wet their pants because it took too long to get their clothing off. Slips on pants are the easiest and of course skirts and dresses make it easy for girls.
5. Know that it’s much easier for a child to be aware of their body during the daytime and nighttime accidents can happen well into elementary school. Be prepared. Protect your child’s pride and their belongings with a mattress pad, rules about drinking before bedtime and support and understanding.
The potty training process can take a while and each child’s experiences are different. Be patient, be positive and be prepared!