Potty training is a major milestone for a toddler. We had bought a book called Once Upon a Potty for his first birthday and he enjoyed reading about Joshua using the potty. My mother bought him a DVD called I Gotta Go! which he enjoyed watching and singing along. My mother bought my son a potty when he was around 1.5 years old and I started sitting him on it from time to time.
But none of those things got him to use the potty everytime. The trick with him was M & Ms. I had talked to another mom at Kindermusik about how she got her son to go to the potty (he was a year younger than my son). She said she started giving him M & Ms everytime he went to the potty. When we got home, I started using her suggestion. You know what, my son started using the potty everytime the same day. Amazing! Within a couple of weeks, I stopped using the M & Ms and he kept using the potty.
Every child is different and they are all ready when theyre ready. Here is a small list of some of the signs they are ready:
1. 1. Able to understand and follow simple directions.
2. 2. Has bowel movements at regular times every day.
3. 3. Able to remain dry for about two hours at a time.
4. 4. Has a name for urine and bowel movement.
Most articles I read said that most toddlers are ready between 18 and 24 months, but it is not uncommon for some children to still be in diapers until they are 3 years old. And really, they dont have to be in diapers. There are training underwear available for toddlers that are more like underwear, but have diaper protection. Thats what we used with our son until he would tell us everytime he had to go potty.
Of course, he is no longer using his potty; he has graduated to the big potty with a potty seat. He feels like such a big kid using the big potty and no longer wears training underwear at night. He wakes himself up to go potty. He is always proud of himself when he doesnt have any accidents at night.
Potty training is not easy, and it takes alot of patience and understanding from us parents to help our little ones reach this milestone. Just take it slow and youll find the magic trick to help your toddler too.