Potty training is the process of getting your child off diapers to relieve themselves in a potty or adult toilet. Going diaper-free is a huge milestone not only for the child but the parents as well. In some parts of Asia and Central America, the “elimination communication” method of toilet training is used, and infants learn from young to control their bladders.
For children elsewhere, diapers are used from infancy until they can control their urges successfully. Children can start on potty training anywhere between 18 months to 4 years old, and when they are ready, some children show cues of potty-training readiness especially when they are able to communicate their need to pee or poop.
We have compiled a few quick tips on potty training your daughter that you can try out. A tip from one parent to another: loads of patience needed!
- Let your daughter choose her own potty
Potties come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and range from the simple pot-like potty to the fancy, mini-sized version of regular toilet bowls, complete with flushing sounds and music. As the potty is something your daughter has to be comfortable to relieve herself in, letting her choose her own potty can make her open up to the idea of using it.
- Incorporate potty time in her daily routine
By now, you should have a rough idea of how frequently your daughter passes the motion, and when. Ask her at frequent intervals if she would like to try using the potty, or have specific “potty times”, where you lead her to the potty and sit her down. It doesn’t matter if nothing comes out, as the point is to get her familiarised with the action of going to the potty.
- Buy cool training pants or panties
Bring your daughter out to the nearest shopping centre for a mission – to buy cool training pants or cute panties, depending on your tolerance for accidental leakages. She may feel motivated to wear them if it has her favourite patterns or cartoon characters.
- Set up a rewards chart
For each time she successfully relieves herself in a potty, pass her a sticker that she can paste on a board to chart her progress and exchange for a small treat. Positive reinforcement (praises, treats and privileges) has been shown to bring out better outcomes than negative reinforcement (chiding, scolding, withholding affection or privileges).
Observe poop together
While it may smell, paying some attention to the appearance of your child’s output can give you an idea of your child’s well-being. After all, hospitals use stool samples to check for health conditions. Teach your child to look out for healthy poop and encourage her to eat more vegetables in order to produce healthy poop.
Check out this poop guide as the colour and consistency of poop depends on the type of diet your toddler has. Making poop observation a joint activity can encourage her to poop into the potty.
- Encourage, encourage and encourage
Some children get comfortable on the potty within days, while others may take a longer time. Parents have to constantly encourage their child that it is okay even if there are accidents. Most importantly, assure her that you will be there for her no matter how long it takes for her to be off diapers.
Ultimately, it all boils down to the comfort level of your daughter and while there are many potty-training tips out there, some trial and error may be needed to find out what works for your daughter. She may just surprise you one day by simply deciding that she no longer wants to wear diapers!
Have you started potty training your daughter? Do share some of your most memorable potty-training memories with us!