By BIANCA CARTER
If you cringe at the words ‘potty training’, don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
It can be stressful for both the parent and the child, but once you have the tools, and a proper perspective, it will fall in to place.
The most important factor to consider is the child. Is the child really ready to be potty trained, and how do you know?
Some research suggests children tend to be ready to engage in potty training around the age of two years old. However, it is really up to the child, and every child is different.
Some professionals have suggested that it may take up to four years old for a child to be fully potty trained in both ‘number one’ and ‘number two’ occurrences. Number one is definitely the easiest step in my opinion.
Some of the signs that your child may be ready include: being interested in wearing underwear, or being interested in the potty chair, wanting to be changed as soon as the diaper is wet or dirty, and they communicate effectively or advise you when they need to go to the bathroom.
A couple of reasons parents want to potty train sooner rather than later may be wanting to reduce the costs of buying expensive diapers, or getting the child ready for school. Not all schools require your child to be potty trained, and some schools actually help in the potty training process, which is great reinforcement when the child is away from home.
There are many articles that can help you decide when to begin potty training, and even offer tips on how to do it.
Some articles boast being able to potty train your child in a week, even three days. If that short time frame actually works, then fine, but I suggest potty training with love, consistency, and most importantly, patience.
You don’t want to force or scare the child into potty training if they are not ready as this may delay potty training for the child.
Try to find fun games and songs to cheer your child on for their achievement. If you have ever watched the “Look Who’s Talking” movie series, you may remember the “pee-pee in the potty” song and dance.
I even know a parent that puts a few drops of blue food colouring in the toilet bowl, because yellow and blue make green! I think this is super awesome, especially for little boys. Potty training and learning about the colour wheel, all at the same time – score!
This is a big change in a toddler’s life, and also for the parent. Leaving the diapers behind is a milestone that leads to an independent child.
Don’t force this issue, just let the ‘breeze flow’. Be guided by your child, and always offer the appropriate support.
Love & hugs!
• Bianca Carter is a certified lactation counsellor and founder of Bun in the Oven.
For more information, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow BITO on Facebook at babybunintheoven, and check out the BITO Blog every Monday and Thursday at http://babybunintheoven.com.