“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, In play children learn how to learn”- O. Fred Donaldson
As the quote says, children learn by playing. They master every skill through playing. One such learning is Potty training. Our ultimate goal as parents is to make the child no longer depend on nappies, at the same time be confident about their body. When the term potty training arises, there comes a question as “When to start?”. Truth is there is no right age to start potty training a child. Because the learning begins when the child shows signs both physically and mentally. Physical readiness signifies that the kid must be able to walk and understand our commands to use the restroom or reach a nearby potty chair. Mental readiness implies that the child must be able to communicate their parents their urge to pee/poop. Else it becomes as a burden for both the parent and the child.
For instance, few children start walking early, a few start talking early. It may also occur vice versa. Similarly, potty training also is not set on a standard timeline. Experts generally suggest milestone achievement with a time span for every activity. Based on an evidence-based study, potty training is best achieved around 2 years of age for a child. The earlier the process is started, the earlier the result. Here is from one of your fellow mommies, a few tried and tested methods to make the process much easier.
1. Speak, Speak, And Speak:
Speaking is the real mantra to get started with potty training. Parents need to use ‘code words’ once the kid reaches 12-16 months for pee/poop. It is actually the first step towards training, way before they start direct potty training. This makes the child register in their mind, what pee or poop means once the word is uttered by the parent. When the family members keep using the word often, it indirectly paves way for the child to connect the word with the action.
2. Invest in a good Potty chair:
Children generally love choosing. Make sure to take your child while buying a potty chair for them, and make them choose whichever they like. This creates an interest for the child to use it. Invest in few colorful patters or stickers to make the chair more attractive. Once bought, don’t forget to place the chair in a place where the child spends most of the time in your house. This makes it feasible to use it. It is good to go for a potty chair rather than a toilet seat for the kid, because it ensures that the kid doesn’t fall from the toilet seat.
3. Show interesting videos:
Several cartoon characters have now started including the significance of potty training in their episodes. Start playing the videos before you intend to start potty training your child, it helps them understand better. But make sure to limit screen time. This makes the child understand that it’s normal to use potty chairs and it creates an interest for the child to use it.
4. Tell me I forget, Show me I learn:
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, But they never failed to imitate them”-James Baldwin.
This is yet another most important advice for every parent. Children want to learn a lot from their elders. They, in fact, imitate what their favorite persons in their life do. So, show them every possible time when their siblings/ also as parents ourselves use the restroom, instead of just preaching them to use potty chairs.
5. Spend quality time:
It is essential that the child is made to sit not more than 5-7 minutes in the potty chair. Because chances are that, the child may lose interest in the later part when stressed or forced upon. We can also make sure to engage them in a fruitful way by reading with them a storybook or singing their favorite rhymes as they sit in the potty chair. It becomes a habit eventually.
6. Praise them:
Another proven technique is to acknowledge the child whenever they use the potty chair. It may be a hug, by clapping, or a forehead kiss with a warm smile, which motivates the child. Physical forms of gifts like offering candy or a cookie is also encouraged during the initial few days until the child gets into a routine. With all the feasible methods to start training your kid, the parents must also make sure to address the fact that, it is the normal biological call for every human to use the restroom. And it’s not an unwanted or irrelevant topic to not discuss.
As responsible parents, it is our duty to make our kids love their bodies. Start loving the process with your kids!!!