It’s time to discuss one of the things that make parenting so challenging: potty training. Or maybe not so much of a challenge as virtually all kids do get trained in one way or another. But for some parents, the sooner, the better. Not only is it more sanitary, but all those diapers can be very heavy on the budget, needless to say the environment.
It’s not like we’re rushing the kid, though. It’s just that his life – and yours – will be much less complicated when he learns to use the toilet on his own. That way, you can all concentrate on more important things in life. Like, for instance, learning to make cookies or visiting grandma without a single diaper-related accident.
But if how to potty train quickly or potty train at all eludes you, we’ve got you covered. We’ve collected a bunch of tricks, some practical, some unusual, and some you might never have thought of, to help your kiddo get trained in a week or less!
15 Know He’s Ready
Although there is no fixed age for a child to use a potty, they all will show signs when they are ready. However, almost all children gain motor skills after the age of 1, which are required to get them potty trained. Generally it is said that girls get ready a few months earlier than boys to be potty trained.
However, the most important thing is to make sure that the little one is ready for the potty training regimen. Granted, people in some cultures do teach their babies to do their business on command by the time they are nine months old! But let’s stick to what we’re used to and discuss potty training at one year old and above.
Generally, a kid who is ready to potty train will be able to walk. He’s also going to pee a bit less when he’s asleep, and can sometimes hold it in until he’s awake. It also helps if he’s able to tell you that he needs to go.
14 Watching Those Grunts
One thing that will help in the week-long potty training journey is to take note of the little one’s bodily cues. This way, parents can sometimes tell when he needs to go long before he actually does. This usually happens after meals, as putting food into the body does trigger the need to get poop out of the other end as well.
Toddlers, and even babies, will often feel restless just before they need to go. They may feel uncomfortable, although they themselves don’t exactly know what’s making them uncomfortable. They will stand in a corner or stand still and stop doing all the activities, before pooping. Additionally, sometimes babies will also begin grunting just before they poo. They may also go the bathroom and poop in the diaper itself. When any of this happens, it might be time to take the little one to the potty.
Chances are that your little one can understand far more than parents give him credit for. After all he notices every action taken by the family members carefully. It may therefore help if parents explain to him in simple terms the process of urination and defecation, and why he needs to remove waste from the body. Parents can then explain that this all needs to be done in the proper place.
If parents are worried that this sounds complicated, fear not. There are numerous educational books and media that can help explain to the little one why and how it’s done. Parents can subscribe to online educational programs, show cartoon videos and songs to the little one to explain the importance of using a bathroom or a potty seat. Potty training, after all, is a new and unfamiliar thing. The tot will be less scared of doing it if he understands it a bit more.
12 First Impressions
When the parents think the child is ready, get a potty or a potty seat and a stool. It may also help to get him a kid-sized wash basin and towels near the potty so he knows that he can clean up easily just in case there are any accidents. When everything he needs to be a potty apprentice is ready, it’s time to make the introduction.
Explain to him what the potty is for and how it works. Tell him that he’ll be learning how to use it in the next few days. Make it sound like a fun activity rather than a tedious one so that he’ll be keener to cooperate! Parents can show few videos explaining the use of potty, potty seats, and the process of potty and how to clean independently. This will help the child to enact the same way his favorite cartoon character has done.
11 Dolling Up
If parents want a success in the potty training camp, it’s extremely important that the child gets fascinated by the potty seat. If the parents want to keep the child’s attention and, perhaps, spark his imagination when explaining how to use the potty, it might be best to do a bit of a demonstration. Don’t worry, though, parents don’t have to do it themselves! They can get a familiar doll or toy to do it for the kid! Let the doll tell the tale of rumbly tummies and feeling pressure down below.
Parents can make up a story that revolves around using the potty. Let the tot’s toy act it out, perhaps with some other supporting characters. Getting a laugh or two out of the little one is a sure sign that the child is interested in the process and ready to cooperate. After all, if you let the potty win his heart, it’s sure to also win other things as well!
10 Grown-Up Undies
While parents will want the explanation process to be fun, it’s also very important to treat the potty as serious business. Tell him that potty training is a time to graduate from diapers to “grown-up” undies. Parents can even take up the whole route of taking the little one to the store to pick out the ones that he wants. Allowing a toddler to think he has a choice will make him more likely to cooperate! Also, try to choose undies which are bright in color, look attractive and have your little one's favorite cartoon characters printed on it.
It’s important to remind him that adult undies are not like diapers. They’re not things that should get dirty, a surefire way to make him uncomfortable. He is probably already aware of this without really knowing it. Appeal to his ego a little bit and tell him how big he’s grown and how much confidence you have that he’s ready to take the challenge!
9 Diaper Weaning
No pain, no gain is the game. Parents will have to take the risk, and over the course of a few days, wean him off the diaper. This can depend on what’s convenient for the family. Some parents opt to put their kids in big-kid underwear in the day, and back into the diaper at night. Others schedule an initial four hours of diaper-free time and growing this time over the course of the week. Some leave the kid without clothes below the waist.
No matter which route the parents choose, the general idea is to allow the little one to slowly adjust from diapers to potties and underpants. It’s important at this point to acknowledge that this is a transition, and that he shouldn’t be looked down or scolded in case he makes any mistakes. Parents will need to keep encouraging the child. Positive reinforcement, which we’ll discuss later, is the best.
8 Au Naturel
As already mentioned, some parents will allow their child to go a portion of the day without diaper or underpants. This can give the child a feeling of freedom and allow them to notice the better ease of movement and the lack of weight on their body.
This also allows them to get more attuned to their body and what is happening. When they feel pressure and then see and feel the pee or poop come out of their body, it will make them more mindful of what the pressure means. They become more aware of the rhythms and body cues. If the weather outside is good, let your little one run around without bottoms, have the potty chair close by and watch for cues. This is sometimes called the $75 and naked method. You’ll have messes to clean in the house, your child will learn how to use the potty, and the $75 is for having the carpet cleaned afterward.
7 Toilet Visits
One challenge to potty training is when the family, including the little one needs to get out of the house to run errands, perhaps, or visit the grandparents. It can be tempting to put on a diaper and we’d totally understand if parents go for this. But if the parents can scrape up the extra patience, you might find that it’s worth it to take the risk and just bring a lot of extra clothes.
The trick to an outdoors potty training educational tour is frequent visits to the toilet. This means that every half an hour or so, take your little one physically to the toilet. Ask him if he needs to go, and help him out when he does. Otherwise, wait another half an hour and try again. When he says yes, rush him to the nearest toilet. Be prepared not to look down on the child in case of an accident. Provide praise even if you don’t quite make it. They deserve an ‘A’ for effort.
6 Who’s a Good Boy?
Everyone loves appreciation, be it adults or children. When it comes to potty training, positive reinforcement is the way to go. It’s unhealthy to punish your child at this point, especially since accidents are inevitable early during potty training. As a general rule, if he has an accident, just clean everything up and carry on.
However, whenever he sits on his potty seat, or tries to poo or pee there, just appreciate his efforts. This applies even if he doesn't succeed in the using the seat correctly. Praise him on his dry diaper or pants. Tell him everything that he’s doing right and motivate him to do the same next time. It’s important, especially during the first few days, to be consistent with praise so that he keeps up the great work! But just be careful as overpraising can make him nervous, and he might get afraid to fail, leading to more accidents.
Sometimes children needs the extra push and motivation to make the transition from diaper to the potty chair. To achieve success, parents can also try turning potty training into a game by adding simple potty training activities. Some parents start with the wet and dry game, where a child marks various items which are dry or wet in the house. Some try to add the fun by adding coloring into the toilet that will change color when he pees. Some even put an element of target practice in the mix!
As with every game, it can also motivate him if there are achievements, or little badges of honor when he hits a milestone. Parents can create these little badges on the computer and print them out onto sticker paper. He can then use these to decorate a little wall of potty-fame so he can see for himself how far he’s gone!
Another thing that will work is downright bribery. Although this term may be a bit inaccurate as a bribe is usually given before the deed is done! While reward is something associated with success. Children are attracted to rewards, and generally push themselves to do what parents are asking them to do, in order to win the associated reward. Parents might find it useful to promise him his favorite sweet or a favorite activity (a story, etc.) each time he does it right. When that happens, make sure that the treat is given as soon as possible so that he can create a positive association between the toilet and the sweet.
Parents can also put another level of motivation by promising him a toy that he wants if he can use the potty fifteen times. Keep track of the number of times he’s used the potty and place the record somewhere he can see. This way, he knows how close he is to his goal.
3 Bedtime Routine
Kids ordinarily take more time to be dry in the night compared to during the day. However, once the little one is completed trained during the day, parents can think of taking the next step of trying to go through the night without diapers, and start to incorporate this to his bedtime routine. That is, make sure that he visits the potty at least once before going to bed. Ideally, parents should insert this somewhere in his going-to-bed ritual. Perhaps somewhere between brushing his teeth and his bedtime story, parents can make the little one get fresh using his potty seat.
Early on, it’s likely that the little one’s bowel and bladder control is poorest during the night. It’s therefore great to give him a head start by trying to empty everything as much as possible. This ensures that there are less accidents in the night. When they do occur, don’t make a big deal out of it, and just remind him that it’s okay because he’s still learning.
2 Deceptive Distractions
Once the parents get the toddler on the potty, it can be difficult for him to stay on it! It’s therefore useful to give him a bit of a distraction while he’s on the potty while waiting for whatever to come out. There are quite a few ways that you can do this.
One method is to tell him stories or sing his favorite rhymes. Parents can give him fun potty books that he can read only when he’s on the porcelain (or plastic) throne. In order to divert the mind, parents can also give him a few games to play as well. After all, the longer he stays on there, the better his chance of doing what he needs to do. However, don’t make him stay on for too long or he’ll view it as a chore. In case he resists, just let him go, and try again after an hour or so.
1 Appealing to Pride
"Potty training" are two words which can sweat out the parents. It can strike the heart, if parents need to train a really stubborn child. You know he can do it, but sometimes he just doesn’t feel like it. First parents need to understand that they shouldn't start a potty training regime too early with a stubborn child, especially when he in this mode. Parents need to patient and wait a little longer till the child feels relaxed and ready to cooperate. It’s at this point when you might have to bring out the big guns. It may be time to introduce him to a friend, around his age, who already knows how to use the toilet.
Invite said friend and the mother over and make sure to dish out compliments when the friend uses the toilet. Try not to make any direct comparisons, though. The little one will get the picture and be more motivated to impress you the next time around!