By Erica, Contributing Writer
From a Christian’s perspective, potty training, is another part of the training part of parenthood given to parents by the Lord. The Bible teaches that we should train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Potty training may challenge you as a parent but remember to nurture your little child. They need your love through this process. We are potty training our 4th child, we’ve trained 2 boys, and now 2 girls. Potty training always makes life interesting.
Parental Consistency is the Key
Consistency is one of the greatest keys to potty training. Consider that a child has a short attention span. Some believe that a child’s attention span is the same length as their age, so a 2 year old would have a 2 minute attention span before they can get distracted from a task. Children will get busy playing and they will have accidents. It is your responsibility to help them remember to go to the bathroom. Prepare yourself to be consistent.
Signs of Readiness
Look for signs of readiness in your child such as interest going with you to the bathroom, disliking having a wet or dirty diaper and taking it off. Watch to see if they are waking up dry in the mornings and after naps.
Dedicate Specific Time for Beginning
In my opinion several days are needed to wholly be dedicated to begin potty training. No shopping trips, vacations, or any other distractions. Plan ahead to have everything you need to get started ahead of time. Giving specific time to dedicate will help you be able to focus on helping your child succeed. Every child IS different, and potty training will take time.
Gather Your Supplies
- Padded Underwear – Gerber brand are great, or you can find tutorials online on how to make them yourself.
- *Plastic Underwear Covers or Cloth Diaper Covers
- Lots of Liquids that your child enjoys to drink
- Rubber Gloves – use for cleaning up #2 accidents
- Towels – for cleaning up accidents
- Small Rewards – Like Cheerios, Smarties, or Small Stickers, or any other small item(s) that would motivate your child to go to the bathroom
- Timer – This helps you remember to take your child to the bathroom
*Plastic Underwear Covers are optional but helpful to keep accidents fairly local to the underwear and not so much on the floor. I did not learn about doing this until our third child.
The success of your child’s being trained quickly depends on your diligence. The best thing you can do is be proactive about taking them to the bathroom. Many parents ask their child if they need to go to the bathroom and the child will say no. Then within 5-10 minutes they have an accident and the parent becomes frustrated.
Set a timer to remind yourself to take your child to the bathroom. Each child is different, but I have found these times to be helpful: 20-30 minutes between trips to the bathroom. If the child does not go to the bathroom then put another 5-10 minutes on the timer and try again until they go to the bathroom.
When your child has been successful at going to the bathroom then make a big deal about it. Making up songs and giving huge high 5’s will show your little one that what they are doing is good. Providing a small reward is best because you will be going to the bathroom with your little one A LOT! A sticker chart is another option, once filled, you provide your child with a reward.
Avoid Potty Training During Transitional Times
Potty training is a stage for the child that takes time. I learned with our second son that moving to a new state in the middle of potty training set him up to struggle. He back tracked repeatedly and took longer than any of my other children. If you have a big life event coming up I would encourage you to wait until that event is over and you have had time to adjust after the transition. Life events include: moving, having another baby, going on a long trip, or any busy months in your family’s life like the time between Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
There may be times in the process of potty training that you will be full of frustration about the accidents that keep happening. Babies learn step by step how to walk before they can walk 20 steps, and even before they can walk across a room. Be just as patient with potty training, it will take time. Show your child love and affirmation when they go to the bathroom as well as when they have an accident. You can clearly explain to them that they should go to the bathroom in the potty and walk them to the potty. It’s okay to have them sit on the potty for a few minutes after an accident to remind them where they are supposed to go. Remember, to be gentle, kind, and do not yell at them.
Consistency and preparation are you biggest tools! If you have any questions or would like to share some of your own hints on potty training little ones, then please leave your comment below!
I have another post coming Wednesday about MORE Potty Training Pointers, that may help you potty train your little one. The next article helps you nurture potty training in public restrooms and more!