Toilet training, potty training… we’ve all heard it called various things. It’s that wonderful time in life when we begin to teach our children not to use diapers.
The only problem is that they sometimes continue to act as if they are wearing diapers even after they stop wearing them!
I’ve more or less successfully moved three of my four children out of diapers and the fourth will begin “sometime”. Exactly when that “sometime” will come is not certain — and the reason for that uncertainty is the purpose of this first (in a series) of posts about potty training.
Parents, YOU are the first thing that needs to be trained. From my own experience, PLEASE wait until they are ready. It makes life much easier! Our baby’s “sometime” will come when she, not we, are ready.
The big first step, of course, is awareness — and that’s where “parent training” starts to take place. Your child will most likely give some sort of sign that they are relieving themselves. When you see this, just ask them if they are doing something in their diaper (use whatever terms you decide on; from my perspective, I think that so-called “baby talk” simply teaches your child to speak baby talk, so I’d use whatever words you would normally use for such functions). If they say “yes”, then gently remind them that they can use the toilet for that and ask if they want to.
In other words, you have to “catch them in the act” and take advantage of the opportunity to sell an alternative.
Another “first tactic” to use is to talk to them as you change their diaper. Tell them how much nicer it would be if they would use the toilet. Speak in terms that would benefit them, such as always having dry, clean pants. I think that most small children want to please their parents, so don’t hesitate to tell them how it would also benefit you and ask them to help.
Gentle, consistent encouragement from you is an important first step after they show an awareness of what is happening.
I’ll talk a bit more about why it’s important to wait in my next post.
Thanks for listening,