The time has come. Little Timmy now tells you when he is wet. He may even take off a dirty diaper by himself. This can be both a blessing and a curse (depending on what is in the diaper). Potty training should be a cinch, right? Well, don’t count on it. Here are some potty training tips.
First-time parents may think that because their toddler can tell them when they need a change, that they are ready to potty-train. They may be ready. Or, they may not make the connection between telling you after the fact, and going to the potty before the act.
The number one potty-training mistake most new parents make is expecting too much, too fast. Little Timmy is learning. He is voicing needs. However, it may take him a few weeks or months to fully understand what you are expecting from him. After all, he is now being plopped on a foreign object, the potty, and being expected to make ëpee-peeí happen at will. Bladder control is not established yet. Donít expect your child to grasp this concept on the first try.
Frustration is the next mistake. Your frustration, not the childís. Many parents think that since weeks have passed and the child is still not trained, they are doing something wrong. This is not true, but it is frustrating. Be sure not to let your child feel that frustration. Parents can actually make the child afraid of toilet-training if the child senses they are upset with him during potty time. Be sure to mask any frustrations.
One day, the child will actually pee in the toilet. Oh, happy day! Bring out the surprises. Gather the treats. Go to Disney World! You will be making mistake number three- going overboard. Yes- praise the child. Give him a high-five. Maybe a sticker or a tattoo. A little something that tells him he did good will go a long way. However, candy, expensive toys and trips, are all unrealistic (and unhealthy) ways to reward the child. He will begin to expect something every time he uses the potty. Make sure you start out with some small token and keep it that way.
Once your child has started potty-training, stick with it. A schedule is a great way to avoid confusing the child, mistake number four. Try to take the child to the potty at least every two hours. This will eventually train his bladder to hold the pee until it is time to go to the bathroom.
The last mistake most first-timers make is comparing their child to other children. Donít do this! All children learn at different rates. Even within the same family, one child may learn in a couple of weeks. Another may take months. Comparisons only lead to frustrations, for the child and the adult. Try to treat each child as if they were an adult, unique and individual.
Remember, praise and patience will go further than useless comparisons. Your toddler will eventually be trained.
If you have boys coming to the potty training age, do check out these 20 great tips from Mommy Edition on how to make the potty training process more successful.