The idea of having a diaper free kid and having no disasters sounds oxymoronic.. right? Toilet training and its woes are something every mother has to go through so fear not and get ready to pick up turds off your carpet, or maybe not?
Follow the guide below to make toilet training, well not a breeze, but less messy and painful.
The Right Age to Start Toilet Training
Some mothers prefer starting when the kid is a year old or even earlier but, honestly, all they are doing is training themselves to look for cues 24/7. Many a times you will pick the kid up and run to the loo on the slightest sign of a grimace or a smirk on the tiny face and who knows it might just be a false alarm a.k.a a fart. Also, starting early brings along a stretched period of time (read years) where you have to continue staring at your kid for signs.
I don’t call this toilet training. I would call a kid trained when he comes to you himself and communicates the need to pee/poop and holds it in all this while. The best time to start is when the kid has started talking and properly communicating other needs. The earliest this can happen is 2.5 years. Medically, the probability of having full bladder control by 2 years is very low and kids gradually develop this by 2.5-3 years. Also, the later you start, the quicker the kid will be trained. I know kids who started after 3 and got trained in 2 days flat. Trying to do it earlier, in fact, can have negative physical and psychological effects on the kid.
How to Toilet Train
Once you feel your kid is ready, let him know that they are going to be diaper free and that they have to start using the toilet for peeing and pooping. It is important for this talk to be kind and reassuring, not threatening. Then do as follows:
- Choose a summer week when you can stay home all day and can avoid interruptions or visits.
- Take off the diaper and make the kid wear towel undies – the ones that have a plastic outer and an absorbant-towel-material inner.
- Take the kid to the washroom every 30 minutes during the day and 15 minutes after every liquid intake.
- Come up with a happy dance or something every time the kid pees in the washroom. You can use a slightly more exaggerated dance or jumping and clapping routine if its poo.
- After the first few days when you see good progress you can stretch the interval to 1 hour.
- Keep encouraging the child to come tell you himself and don’t show anger or frustration.
- Do not scold in case of a disaster. Just be firm and gentle and tell them that it’s ok, that they were probably busy playing and didn’t notice that they need to go and that you will help them clean up. Reassure that you are there with them to go through this.
- Till the time the kid is fully trained for the day you will have to use a diaper at night/naps.
- Do not, I repeat, do not put on the diaper to go to the mall and park or something once you have started training or you will be back to square one. Do not ask the kid to do it in his diaper. It will only lengthen the process for you and increase the confusion for him.
Night training can only be done once the kid is fully trained for the day and usually by that time most kids start showing signs of night time readiness and usually wake up in the morning with dry diapers.
- The last liquid intake should be an hour before the bed time.
- Take the kid to the washroom before bed and then at least twice during the night.
Soon the kid’s bladder will start sending a signal to the brain strong enough to wake him up with the urge and as he is already day-trained he can then inform you at night as well.
If your kid does not agree to go to the washroom or sit on the commode, try waiting for a few weeks and then start again. Do not force. You can also try a colorful, cartoon figure portable pot and see if the kid likes it. It takes some effort but seeing your trained kid will make you go gaga. Blessings and strength your way to clean up all the mess! You go mom!