Do You Dread Potty Training Your Toddler?

Recent research reveals that the Dread of Potty Training is spreading like wild fire among parents. This recent outbreak among parents and caregivers of 2-3 year olds has them scrambling for books, videos and pricey potty training aids of all types. There is only one cure for this phenomenon: a good dose of old fashioned common sense. Although it is naturally instilled in most parents it is the last resource they usually try.

If you think about it, your child just a short while ago was a crawling infant. The next transition stage was to learn to walk. Your beautiful toddler started to pull themselves up on the furniture and then take that one step between the coffee table and the couch. What did you do? Run out and buy training manuals and pricey equipment to get them through this stage? Did you get yourself all worked up and set a date that they had to be walking by? Then on that fateful day stand that beautiful baby on its feet and demand they walk by the next day without falling? Of course not, who would do that? Chances are you cheered, clapped and smiled as you hugged them. Then you told everyone you know about your baby’s success. That’s good old fashioned common sense at work! You’ve got it.

Now to cure the Dread of Potty training, let’s take that common sense to the next level. With a checklist to ensure the timing is right and a few tips to tweak the skills you already have, you and your toddler could actually enjoy the potty training process. Imagine spending most of the time you are potty training focused on the benefits to your child. How great they will feel with the pride of having accomplished independence. The confidence they will gain in knowing they can have “big kid” status and stay clean and dry all by themselves. Mostly they will learn co-operation skills that will roll over into all the other areas of their lives, making mealtimes, bedtimes and toy cleanup easier as well.

The key to making the potty training transition easy for both you and your child is readiness based on communication skills and physical readiness. Print the following short checklist and use it over the next seven days.
• Your child shows interest in what you and your family members do in the bathroom.
• Your child has a clear understanding that being clean and dry is preferable to diapers.
• Check your child’s diaper frequently. When you find them to be dry over an hour and then suddenly very wet, it is a sign that they now have control over the essential muscles.
• When your child’s diaper is dry after a nap or in the morning on a fairly consistent basis.
• Your child begins to recognize when they move their bowels and will hide and show modesty.
• Your child may indicate they want their diaper changed immediately after eliminating.
• Your child has enough speech to communicate their need to use the bathroom.
• As a parent you have a low-key attitude towards potty training. A sense of humor is not essential, but it helps.
• You have a clear enough calendar to not be pressured or rushed through this process.

Many of the things on this list come naturally and the rest can be encouraged. Although it is not necessary to have all these readiness signs in place before you begin, the more time you spend in preparation for the potty training process the less stress and mess you will have when you begin.