My 2 year old is showing signs that it's about time to get the train going.
Maybe even this weekend.
Do you know the signs? Here are 15 signs to show they are ready.
Your child is ready to learn potty skills when he or she:
- Has bowel movements at about the same time every day
- Can stay dry for a few hours or wakes up dry from sleep
- Knows that he or she has to go to the bathroom
- Understands the association between dry pants and using the potty
- Can pull his or her pants up and down
- Lets you know when he or she has soiled his or her diaper (likes to stay dry)
- Can follow simple directions like, "Lets go to the potty"
- Understands potty terms (wet, dry, pee, poop, dirty and potty)
- Can tell you he or she has to go to the bathroom
- Imitates other family members
- Shows interest and asks questions while watching you
- Wants to do things "by myself"
- Enjoys washing his or her hands (like to be clean)
- Gets upset if his or her belongings are not in their proper place
- Wants to please you!
Read some potty training books or articles to help you prepare. Buy a sturdy potty chair, you don't want them to worry about falling over. My son does not like potty chairs but likes the seats that go directly on the toilet. Buy training pants. Buy some rewards or a potty chart, your choice.
Potty charts are easy and free. Just do a Google search for potty charts, click on images and print one off.
My son is on a Cars kick, so we are using everything Cars.
Let's get started
Introduce the potty in a casual way. Show them the reward chart. Increase fluids so that they will have to go more. Eat healthy foods which will make the BM easier. If you see your child dancing a jig or holding themselves ask if they need to go and take them to the potty.
Don't forget to praise them! This will help them be motivated to go!
We all have problems
If your child refuses to use the potty, try to encourage them by offering to read a story while sitting on the potty.
If this still does not work, back off and do not push them. You can try to leave your child's diaper off at the time he/she usually has a BM. Timing is an important factor in toilet training. If you sense that they have to do a BM (gas for instance), take the diaper off right at the moment you see your child getting ready to do it.
If you do catch your child before the BM occurs, then quickly take him/her to the potty and tell him/her that this is where the poop goes. Hopefully if you catch your child at the precise moment, he/she will look for relief and let you guide him/her to the potty. If your child protests a bit, gently encourage and explain to your child "that he/she is a big girl/boy now and Mommy and Daddy expect you to use the potty." Remember, encourage and guide, but do not force your child to sit.
Withholding of stoolsIt only takes ONE painful BM to cause your child to be frightened of using the potty, so at all costs, make sure his or her diet has sufficient fresh fruits, vegetables and juice. If your child has a painful BM only once while trying the potty, it could delay potty training for months. They will associate painful BMs with the potty and will refuse to use it.
If you suspect that your child is withholding his/her stools, it is best to stop training and increase the fluids. Tell your child at that moment, that they are not ready yet and that you will try again later. Continue to play potty videos and read toilet-training books often to encourage regular use of the potty so your child will grasp the concept. Keep the potty-chair — eventually you'll see signs of interest again. Remember, the keys to toilet training are patience, praise, encouragement (and a sticker chart to build self-esteem and make the learning process fun).
Your attitude is importantToilet training can get messy so be prepared and expect that there will be many mistakes. Your child is learning a very difficult skill. Clean up any accidents without anger or showing disgust.
Do not make negative comments. Explain to your child that pee and poop go in the toilet. You should also empty any accidents in underwear or training pants into the toilet and explain to your child that she is a big girl now and this is where the poop goes. Try switching from diapers to training pants when your child does at least fifty percent of his urine or BM in the potty. At night, you can use diapers until your child wakes up dry for a couple of days in a row. Remember, this is a very difficult skill to learn. No one has ever said toilet training is easy! Make the process fun and you will have happy memories to look back on.
If your child refuses to sit on the potty, then it's not the right time yet. If your child pees and poops constantly in his or her underwear, then he/she is not ready. No big deal — try again in a month or so. This is normal. Let your child take the lead. Your child needs to be in control of the process.
Here are some potty training links!
5 Things You Can Do with Your BABY to Make it Easier to Potty Train Them Later
How to potty train a child
Potty training tips and tricks...
Stress Free Potty Training
Potty Training for Children Who "Take Their Sweet Time"
How I Potty-Trained My 18-Month-Old Toddler