If you have a child you are ready to potty train or have already started potty training, you have probably heard a lot of different advice from friends and family on how to potty train your child. Plus, you’ve probably looked online for the “best” method and found a lot of different advice online. How do you know what will work for you? What should you try? Can you really potty train your child in a weekend or less?
I am going to start off by telling you that every child is different. Just because one thing worked for a friend doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you, even though your friend swears by it.
Also, you are going to see different advice out there on when is the “best” time to potty train your child. Some say start as soon as they’re born, some say not until 18 months, and some say not until 2-4 years of age, while others will tell you to wait until your child shows interest in wanting to be potty trained.
Some kids take longer than others to potty train, however a lot of schools are going to insist on the child being potty trained by the time they enroll at the school. But can you really potty train your infant?
No, not exactly. Instead of you potty training your infant you are actually just training yourself to anticipate when your child is going to need to go potty, and if you force yourself to learn this then you can actually start to know and predict when your baby is going to relieve himself/herself. However, this takes a lot of work on the parent’s behalf and accidents will happen still. The benefits of this method are that you will spend less money on diapers (possibly never even buying a diaper depending on how proactive you are in this method), and you save the environment by not using all those diapers and throwing them away to sit in a landfill somewhere. On the positive side of this method, your child will be used to going to the bathroom to relieve themselves, since this is the normal routine and there fore it might make for an easier transition to them doing it themselves without your help.
However, you should know that potty training is a learning experience. Yes, your child can pee and poop, but your child needs to learn what signs to watch for that means they need to go potty. So even if you take your infant/child to the bathroom every time you notice that they need to go.
Another, popular method to potty train your child says to use a potty doll to help them accept going to the potty in the toilet. This is a good aid, but it won’t teach your child how to go potty on their own, they still need to learn how to tell that they need to go potty.
Potty training methods that claim to potty train your child in a day, a weekend or 3 days sound great, however if you read these methods you will see that it actually requires you to do a lot of “preparation” before the “day” or “weekend” that is going to magically potty train your child, or they will tell you to continue doing the training for another 3 months after your weekend that supposedly potty trained your child.
That’s what you need to know, potty training doesn’t occur over night, in a weekend or even a month. The average child takes 8 months to be “potty trained” and even after that they are still expected to have an “accident” once in awhile.
With my daughter, we tried the potty training in a day method; we tried bribes with going shopping, stickers on a chart, even special treats (cookies, fruit snacks, etc). We let her pick out her own “big girl” undies; we switched her completely over to undies as soon as her diapers and training pants ran out and didn’t buy another package. Nothing seemed to work for us that everyone else claimed worked. She would be “potty trained” for a week or so and then start wetting her pants all day long again every day and we went through a lot of laundry. Finally, one day after we had run out of ideas on how to potty train her she just started doing it on her own and for the most part she does great with only having an occasional accident every now and then (usually when she is playing with someone and doesn’t want to stop to go potty).
The thing, I think helped her most was explaining to her how to read her body and know what the different feeling inside her body meant. We explained that when she needs to go potty is when her tummy feels full and when she feels like dancing around (most little kids dance around when they need to go potty and sometimes they don’t realize why they’re dancing around). To help her identify the feeling of needing to go potty we would ask her how her tummy felt when we saw her start dancing around or moving around and we knew that it meant she had to go potty, after we asked her how her tummy felt then we’d go to the bathroom and tell her to just sit on the potty and see if her tummy had been trying to tell her to go potty. She would go potty in the toilet and then we’d ask her how her tummy felt now that she had gone potty. After, she started being able to know what it felt like to need to go potty, the potty training methods seemed to work more efficiently.