Potty training your toddler can be a very stressful situation and one which you may think will never come right. You could even be excused for believing your child will grow into an adult and still be wearing nappies simply because he just doesn’t seem to be able to master the potty skill!
Rest assured! For some children the art of transitioning from nappy to potty can take a little longer. But your patience and perseverance with your little one is crucial.
Remember that potty training involves your toddler’s development and he is not choosing to be disobedient when he has an accident. He is just in the process of developing a skill and this takes time, lots of practice and an even bigger dose of patience from you.
Short attention span
Keep in mind that his attention span is short ,so if siblings are causing a distraction, the television is on, if he is hungry or in the middle of playing, he may show no interest at all in using the potty.
Learning to use the potty instead of his nappy – the only way he has ever known before – can be tricky because it is a very different process. Your youngster will have to start learning to recognise his urges and work out how to respond to these in a different way than he is used to. Of course, this involves timing and being able to remove clothing and/or underwear quite quickly.
But no matter how frustrating this time is for you when you feel all you are ever doing is cleaning up his accidents, you have to stay calm and bear in mind that potty training takes practice. Lots of practice!
Punishment is not the answer
Punishment is not the solution as the child is not being naughty. So sending him to the naughty corner, or not letting him have a treat or watch his favourite television programme will not get results and besides, it is totally inappropriate!
The key lies in boosting his confidence. When he does use the potty or even tries to, make sure you encourage him and do not show anger or frustration when he doesn’t get it right. Comment on his accident and get him to help you clean up the mess and himself.
When he is trying to use the potty ensure you speak in a calm voice to help him to relax, giving him reassurance should he need help.
Keep in mind that this is a difficult time for your toddler as well as a very stressful one. Try to keep things as calm as possible. If your child feels undue pressure for him to perform in a potty this could even lead to constipation caused by “potty stress”. This can be very painful for him and can lead to some emotional setbacks related directly to potty training.
Regular practice sessions
Most moms who have been through the potty training process with a toddler will tell you that they believe there is not really a specific method that works better than others. But the one that more easily fits into their busy schedules is to hold regular practice sessions, even if your child feels he has no urge to go. Praising the child when he does use the potty will go far in building his self-confidence in this area and encouraging him to start being aware of his urges which is the first step.
Although this process is a gradual one it can be beneficial because your child will have less accidents because he keeps his nappy on and he learns the transition from nappy to potty in one step.
Just bear in mind it is a process which takes lots of time.