You know it’s time to potty train when:
If your child can tell you that he/she has done number 2 in the diaper, it is definitely time to potty train.
There are so many different suggested methods to potty training. However, I recommend any method that does not drag out over time. The key is short and sweet. Some children are pretty routine about when they go number 2, this will make it easier to potty train.
Start with pull-ups. If your child has is regular about the time for number 2 in the day, then take advantage of that. For instance, my little one will go number 2 within about 30 minutes after eating breakfast. When I am ready to potty train him, I will put him on the potty about 20 minutes after breakfast. I will leave him on the potty until he does his business. However, there is no point to leaving a child on the potty for more than 10 to 15 minutes. If you take the child off the potty and then he/she goes in the pull-up, then just reiterate that “you go potty in the toilet”.
Also watch out for signs like squatting quietly in a corner or standing still with a very red perplexed face. In these instances, grab the child and rush off to the potty. You will not always make it in time, but the child will eventually get the idea that when it is time to go, you rush to the potty.
Pull-ups should be the routine for 2 to 4 weeks, but no more. You should start to notice that the child may go into the bathroom after he/she has gone number two and point at the toilet and say either ‘do do’ or potty or something related. You will know that you are making progress.
After the period of pull-ups, it is time for the gnarly part. Ditch the diapers altogether and be prepared. You need to now put the child in underwear. If you are not feeling that courageous, then you can get those plastic diapers that go over the underwear. This will mean less mess to clean up off the floor/carpet. The idea here will now be that the child has no interest in sitting in a wet or stinky, mushy diaper.
When he/she still goes in the underwear, wait about 5 or so minutes to change them. This will reinforce that not going in the potty is ‘ick’. With my first one, he was pretty stubborn. However, it only took about 10 days until he got it. Granted there were accidents after that, but they became less frequent. There will be nights that you have to get up to change the sheets and the child, but it is very important not to regress as the child will too. It is also very important to have all the other caregivers and family members on board with your method, as consistency with all things in life is key.
Remember, above all, pay attention for the signs that it is the right time for this. You will not be successful if your child is not ready. The #1 key sign is that the child is aware and expresses when they have gone potty in the diaper.
Good Luck and please feel free to ask questions or provide comments of successes or failures with this advice.
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