Prepare for Potty Training: Set the Stage

How to Prepare Toddlers for Potty Training

Potty training is largely dependent on the cues that the child gives and the readiness to understand the cues by the parent. More and more paediatricians recommend child led potty training. It is alright to delay the training till the child demonstrates interest in learning the skill.

While some children get potty-trained early on in their infant years, some don’t pick this up till the time they are three. Most modern parents prefer to follow their child’s cues before potty training them.

Parents can delay the training until children demonstrate an interest in getting potty trained. This approach moves away from pressuring the toddler to ‘go’ in the toilet instead of their diapers, and wait for them till they are physically and psychologically ready. However, being child-oriented doesn’t mean that you wait till the child asks to go to the toilet, but it means being able to understand about the discomfort that the child faces when he has ‘gone’ in his diapers or gets more self aware. Potty training though is easier for girls than boys. While some children struggle with the task, others successfully adopt it, thereby reducing the frequency of ‘going’ in the diaper.

It is always beneficial to keep talking to the toddler about potty training (you will be surprised of how much they understand), and make the process less stressful for both yourself and your toddler.Br/> Potty training your child when he is too young or when you haven’t helped him prepare will lead to greater frustration for you and your child. A few simple steps can smooth the transition into a diaper-free life. To begin with, watch out for the signs from your toddler.

Watching Out for the Signs

There is no definite age to start potty training. But most children are ready from 18 months to 3 years of age. The child should be looking for positive reinforcement and understand when he has to wee or poo. You can use positive reinforcements like “You can take a wee before you go to play” or make it into a habitual activity like, “Go take a wee after you wake up”. You can also capitalise on already formed bodily functions. For example, if your child poos as soon as he wakes up in the diaper, you can put him on the potty seat as soon as he wakes up and then take it from there.

Watching Out for the Signs

Tips to Implement Potty Training

Teaching by example: You can demonstrate the stage of feeling the need to use the bathroom, removing clothes to sitting in the toilet, using the flush, washing hands. Children will be interested in watching the whole process. Remember, children are great imitators Explaining your actions: Parents need to help the child understand the importance of potty training. Talking about the body’s need to eliminate waste also helps. Pets also help in this situation – talking about them and where they go to the bathroom is also beneficial for the child to understand


Use the method of play to make your child understand potty training. Pretend with dolls and clean the doll after the ‘potty’

How to Prepare the Toddler

After understanding the toddler’s cues, decide on when you want to start, how you want to start, rewards or positive reinforcement you want to use and how would you handle accidents. When your child is going through the training, praise him for doing the right thing and tell him that he is doing the right thing. Be proud of him. Also, however watch out for over praising – it could make him nervous and might lead to accidents. Potty training always comes with accidents. Try not to get angry or punish your child for the accident. Allow the child to learn at his pace. You can clean up the potty calmly by reinforcing that the next time he can try it in the toilet. You could also buy a colorful potty seat that will make him look forward to the actual act!

Facts about Potty Training

Here are some fast facts about potty training:

  • While you can prepare your kid for potty training as early as 10 months, the age when kids actually are ready could be anywhere from 18-30 months
  • Children can get physically capable of independent potty training from ages 2.5 – 4
  • Determine the readiness of the chid before he can take potty training in his stead
  • The child’s abilities in other areas has no correlation to future abilities or intelligence
  • Being pleasant, positive and patient goes a long way in potty training
  • Night time dryness comes at a later stage when the child’s psychology develops further
  • Most toddlers urinate four to eight times each day, usually about every two hours or so. So understanding this can go a long way in establishing a diaper free routine
  • Most toddlers set a pattern of bowel movements (poo) by the time they are 2. So work with the pattern. It could be once or twice or even thrice. You can work on the training keeping this in mind
  • Ninety-eight percent of children are completely daytime independent by age four.

Continuous positive reinforcement, patience and a complete understanding of the kid’s psychology will go a long way in making ‘potty training’ an enjoyable experience for you as well as your kid.

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