How to potty train your toddler?
All About Potty-Training Your Toddler
The process of potty-training can be either a piece of cake or a complete nightmare for parents. But, if you start when your baby is ready and follow the right approach, well, it can be less of a nightmare. In this article, we have put some important points together to help you with your journey.
Is your toddler ready for potty-training?
This is an important question to consider before you start investing in things and time for training your toddler. You would know your baby is ready when they -
- can walk and sit for at least short periods.
- have a regular poop cycle.
- are not constipated and have relatively soft poop.
- can communicate with you using words or gestures after peeing or pooping.
- can pull their pants up and down themselves.
- pee with a gap of at least two hours.
What will you need to begin the journey of potty-training?
Potty-training your toddler is not an expensive affair. So you do not need a lot as such. The three things that you will need are:
- A potty seat – Many parents prefer to go for a potty seat that fits on a regular toilet seat, whereas some prefer to start with a potty chair and then progress to a potty seat. The choice depends entirely on your baby’s comfort.
- Pull up padded underwear or potty-training pants to make it easy to change your baby’s underpants without creating a mess all around during the process. You can check out SuperBottoms range of Padded underwear in cute prints.
- A book or a song about potty-training if your toddler is still not comfortable with the process to get them in their comfort zone.
Involve your toddler in the process!
Potty-training is not just being able to sit on a pot and pee/poop. It also includes identifying the urge to pee/poop, cleaning the bum, flushing the toilet, washing hands, etc. Thus, involving your toddler in the whole process instead of just making them sit on a pot always helps. Here are some tips from shared experiences on how you can get your little one to master the skill:
- Ask them to choose a potty seat, a song, or a book to use while they are on the seat. Give them the ownership of the process.
- For every successful attempt, shower them with praises & positive reinforcement. More importantly, on the other hand, do not criticize or demotivate them for any accidental pee or poop.
- Make a schedule for them and follow it. The easiest way to reinforce a schedule is to start a washroom routine before bed-time and first thing in the morning.
- Lead by example. Every time you use the washroom, tell your toddler that grown-ups always use the seat when they need to pee or poop, and now that they are also growing up, they should be doing the same. Show them how to wash their hands after using the washroom by doing it in front of them.
- Pretend-play where they get to potty-train a doll/toy is also a good way to encourage kids.
- Do not make time on the seat all about peeing and pooping. Instead, let them spend some extra time on the seat getting comfortable, instead of flushing and asking them to get up right away.
The most popular methods of potty-training toddlers
Which method you end up choosing will depend on factors such as age and readiness of your child, and what suits them and you the best.
Elimination communication –Followed by many parents in recent times, this method starts at the infant stage but needs an adult to monitor & execute this constantly. Although this is not a pure potty-training method, as the child is not of potty-training age yet and does not independently take charge or identify the cues. But this method is popular among families with at least one stay-at-home caregiver. The biggest advantage here is that you can start early & if this method clicks for your child, they are potty trained sooner.
To follow this method, you need to identify your baby's cues signaling towards poop or pee before they eliminate. For example, some kids grunt, some make a squirmy face, while some grab their genitals. As each kid will have a different signal, you need to identify the patterns and signals and rush your baby towards a pot or sink to help them poop or pee without a diaper.Once you identify the pattern, you can take your baby to the washroom in advance and make them sit on the pot. Many parents experience that making noises resembling pee passing (imitating shhhhhhh sound) or sound of running water helps babies to pee.
- Lead by a parent/caregiver – Usually started after the age of 1, this method is mainly instructed step by step by a parent or a caregiver. Here the aim is to get the kid on a schedule led by an adult. A parent can also prepare and follow a potty-training chart, where they can monitor the time when the child usually poops and pees after how much gap. They can help anticipate and take the child on the pot. This can reduce the number of accidental pees and poops.
- Lead by your toddler – This method is usually adopted by parents who have little older kids. Around the age of 2+, when kids see others using a washroom, they get curious, and start showing interest in using it themselves. This method of giving the charge to the toddler works when parents are not in a hurry to potty train their kids. Here parents do not need to focus or instruct the kids, but let them start telling the parent when they want to use a washroom. This is a gentle method of potty-training and does not create any kind of pressure on the child.
The 3-day method –This method works well with little older kids, kids around5 - 3 years of age who are not completely potty trained yet. The 3-day method is only possible if parents leave everything aside and dedicatedly work on a schedule towards toilet training for three days.
To follow this method, your toddler needs to be completely off diapers and dressed in regular clothes. This works better with older children who are only occasionally in diapers by this age. At this age, kids understand mess and also feel irritated with wetness and mess. They will learn to identify their body cues and the urge to pass poop or pee. Once this stage arrives, they will start communicating the need to go to the washroom. Occasional accidents might occur, and you will need to be patient while adopting this method. Appreciation and positive reinforcement every time your child successfully uses a toilet can help them build confidence. You need to keep asking your child often if they want to use the washroom.Parents usually go for this high-pressure method if the child has to start preschool or daycare soon or are going on a trip etc.
SuperBottoms Padded Underwear – Your toddler’s potty-training companion
The mess that all the pee and poop will create is the biggest concern for you? Don’t you worry, we got your back. SuperBottoms Padded underwear is what you need to save your sofas, bed sheets, and other surfaces!
But first, let’s try to understand what padded underwear is.
Padded Underwear or potty-training pants are pull-up style underwear with heavy padding so that they absorb the pee, and so that the accidental pee does not drip down and lead to pee-puddles.
Unlike disposable diapers, padded underwear do not have a dry feel layer. This ensures that the toddler feels and understands the wetness caused after peeing and will complain and ask the caregiver to change these instantly. This will also reinforce the concept of not peeing in the pants and understanding the cues / urges leading to peeing.
Get your potty-training starter pack of Padded Underwear
Now the question arises how and when to start using SuperBottoms Padded Underwear or potty-training pants?
If your baby is on disposable diapers / UNO, you can make them wear the Padded Underwear when at home or during their playtime. This is a great idea if your little one uses the toilet occasionally but is not a pro yet! And even if your toddler is a pro, for a few more months, to avoid any accidental pee until they feel confident in regular underwear, it is a smart choice to keep using the padded underwear, especially at night.
Some parents feel that the padding in training pants would make a baby feel like it’s just a diaper and wet it. However, that’s not true. While it has several layers to soak wetness, the padding has no dry feel and soaks only up to one pee. This means the baby would feel wet and uncomfortable after peeing, and this would cause the child to learn what it takes to stay dry next time!
So, do you think your toddler and you are ready to begin the journey of potty-training together? Start at the right time, go for the right underwear, and choose the best suited method, and voila, it will be a piece of cake for you!