There are many milestones that you will have with your family, especially during the preschool years. To name a few, you will see them be born, eat solid foods, get their first-hair cut, and their first food that makes them have a weird face that grandparents love to record. But none in my opinion is more exciting than potty training! Saying goodbye to diapers, you think wouldn’t be that exciting, but you would be wrong. The idea that you don’t have to buy diapers anymore, that you can use that money for something else than being defecated in, is such a great feeling.
Being diaper-free is a great moment for every parent. No parent looks back and say’s “I wish ______ could be back diapers again.” Although it is a great feeling it, unfortunately, isn’t easy when you are going through potty training. Potty training can be the most tiring, most aggravating, most hair-pulling experience a parent will have in their child’s life. For some it’s no big deal, their child learns quickly and has no problems. But for others, it is a test of will, of endurance, and of patience.
If you want a surefire way to potty training with no fuss or mess, then you are misguided. There are plenty of blogs, books, websites, and advice columns telling us the best way to potty train, but I believe there is not one method or belief that fits all children. Why? It’s because every child is different, from their temperaments to their cognitive skills. Some parents are convinced to have their child ready before two while others wait until right before they start attending preschool. One child might be able to be trained in the one-day method while the other won’t until they are ready. There is not one method that works for every child.
Though the methods are different and plentiful, there are some good indicators of when to start. Here are some basics that I think help, especially if this is your first child.
- Can they understand basic directions?
- Are they able to hold their bladder for a few hours?
- Do they complain or not like being in a dirty diaper?
Typically if they are showing those indicators, you are ready to go into potty training. Like I said, some parents will start sooner, that is up to your family and sanity of when to start, but I think if they are doing at the least one of these three indicators, go for it. Mayo Clinic has some other indicators to ask before starting, which you can check out here.
If your child is ready, the next important step is to get a routine. Routines vary from family to family, so be flexible to your own family, but you need to be consistent. If you want your child to be consistent, you need to be consistent in training. Routines will never happen if you are unable to create consistency. When they wake up, put them on the toilet. Before bath time, put them on the toilet. Before you leave the house, put them on the toilet. Create a routine and be consistent that is flexible to your family.
The final step and one that any method will tell you because it is the most important is to praise them for achieving but show grace when they accidents. Your child will eventually figure it out, but they most likely will have accidents afterwards. Praise them for their accomplishments, but also handle their shortcomings with grace. If you start that mentality right now, while they are young then you are building a Christ-like attitude in your family that will have a long-standing impact. Because eventually, your child will grow up, and they will have accomplishments that deserve praises, but they will also have setbacks and failures that need to filled with grace.
Whatever method you use for potty training is up to you, if you want a list of different methods you can check out Potty Training Techniques from parentingscience.com.But whatever method you choose, remember to be consistent, and to praise for accomplishments and show grace when they have accidents.