Potty Training is an important milestone of every child. It shows their skills in developing control and understanding their bodies. Although it is a milestone, parents should be able to take cues on their child’s development to start potty training. It is easy to impose on our children but it is important that we ensure they are physically, emotionally, cognitively, ready for this milestone.
We started potty training Enzo when he was 2 and a half years old. We started letting him wear briefs during the day when he started getting irritated with his diapers. He started noticing his diapers getting wet and he did not like the feeling so he would verbalize that he wants his diapers removed. Then we decided to use our potty training book, displayed Weewee Dino and Poopoo Train so he’ll get acquainted to them and its use. Likewise, his dad would show him how to use the Toilet. Then when he finally said he wanted to weewee we ran to the comfort room and helped him do it. It was challenging at first because he would have “accidents” but we remain calm and just let him finish his weewee in the CR. I tell you its a messy part of their life but at the same time fulfilling. He then eventually learned when to go and how he would go about it. Now at age three, he goes to the CR on his own, puts down his shorts, takes a weewee, flushes the toilet and washes his hands. It is both fulfilling for him and us because he became more confident about his skills in the CR. There are different stages that your child will undergo and although this is not always true for every child (Remember, EVERY CHILD IS UNIQUE) these are the usual stages they go through.
- At around 15 months, a year and three months, child becomes aware of having a wet or dirty diaper or clothing
- Between 18 to 24 months, one year and six months to two years old, or even later for some children, child recognizes when he/she is doing a wee/pee or poo. Child may learn the word to tell you about it. Whatever words you use is up to you but make sure you are comfortable and consistent with the terms you have chosen.
- Between, 2-1/2 to 3 years of age, child can tell in advance that he needs to go to the toilet, but may not reach there before actually doing it.
- At about 3 years of age onwards, child gains control of his bladder and can hold on for a while.
So how do you know when you’re child is ready? Here are some indicators you can check with your child. Remember, in order for a child to succeed, he/she needs to be physically, emotionally, and mentally ready for the task of using the potty/toilet for weeing or pooing.
Your child may be ready to start toilet or potty training if:
- “I can do it” becomes a regular refrain.
- Understands pee and poo and knows the difference. When a toddler can verbalize it, it may mean that they already recognize their bladder control.
- If their diaper remain dry for a longer period of time (up to three to four hours)during the day.
- Complains about wet or soiled diapers, becomes uncomfortable and would resort to ripping it off.
- Has regular, formed bowel movements.
- Can walk and sit down unassisted in their potty. For boys, if they can go to the cr on their own.
- When they imitate adults in using the toilet.
These are some things you can check with your toddler but always remember to take your child’s cues. Also, don’t rush for them to be successful immediately. Bladder control is very much a maturational process which means toddlers become physically, emotionally, and cognitively ready for this skill. In addition, it is highly important to become supportive of them during this process and help them gain control of their bodies. Celebrate little achievements and just in case they have “accidents” be calm and just go on with the process. A little tip, just in case they wee or poo on the floor or forgot to tell you they have to go weewee or poopoo, let go of the mess, bring your child to the CR and remind them on how to use the potty or the toilet. Being potty or toilet trained is a big milestone but needs a lot of work, patience, and love from us parents. Sooner or later they would learn how to control themselves and use the potty or toilet and it would be more fulfilling for them if they see us proud of their accomplishment. Don’t forget to take it easy on yourselves too Moms!:)
What’s your potty or toilet training story? Share them with me!:)