Potty training- intimidating, exciting, and a whole new ballgame. For me, it has been a definite adventure. From buying “Frozen” panties to sinking to new levels of bribery, potty training has been successful but definitely something I have learned a lot through. As your child approaches this adventure, here are some dos and don’ts I’ve learned along the way.
Do encourage potty training. Don’t push it.
Many moms see the signs that their little one is ready to start potty training from 18-24 months of age. For my daughter, this was the case. She began to tell me when she was wet and the first time I sat her down on the potty, she went. It’s great to encourage your child towards potty training at this age, but don’t push it. Many 2 and 3 year olds are still wearing diapers. Pushing your child to potty train usually backfires. Stress, the need to please mommy, and anxiety can creep into your little one’s head and all of a sudden it’s not a fun adventure anymore for anyone.
Here are some signs your little one may be ready to start potty training:
- They tell you when they are wet or dirty and seem bothered by wetness.
- They can follow basic instructions and understand them, as well.
- They seem interested in the potty.
- They start to know how to pull their own pants up and down.
Do praise for good success in potty training. Don’t lose your cool when accidents occur.
Potty training opens up many opportunities for positive reinforcement with little ones. Stickers, treats like m&ms, and the opportunity to wash their hands like big girls and boys, are all great rewards. We’ve used them all. You can find fun, printable charts online to use to track your little one’s progress and get the whole family involved. As your little one starts to potty train, accidents will occur. My daughter had several accidents in the beginning of wearing panties. She knew she had to go, but she didn’t tell us she had to in time. Getting upset or frustrated is easy. Maintaining your cool and being calm with your child is not, but it is important. Make sure they know it’s okay and you still love them. We all make mistakes and move on. Don’t make too much of it. They make all kinds of carpet and sanitizing cleaners for a reason.
Do get your little one interested in their own success. Don’t worry or stress.
You can find fun, entertaining books about potty training online and at your local library. Some of my daughter’s favorites are My Big Girl Potty and Big Girl Panties. Use potty training as a bonding experience. We read books, sing songs, and laugh a lot during potty time. Johanna looks forward to having our attention while she’s on the potty. Don’t worry if your little one doesn’t catch on right away. Several things can influence the timeline for potty training. For us, introducing a new baby in the middle of potty training was a roadblock. Johanna started losing interest and having accidents. Thankfully, that has passed and she is doing great now.
Remember, you are supermom. You are there to teach and build-up your child. Potty training is a new way to do this. So go get some fun panties and let the journey begin!
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. Her daughter requests a pretzel after going potty these days.