Potty Training Tips from a Pediatrician
June is National Potty Training Month! To make the potty training process a bit easier, our friends at BABYBJÖRN have put together a list of top potty training tips from Dr. Robyn Strosaker, a pediatrician at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
First things first, how do you know how you’re ready for you and your little one to start the potty training process?
Signs of Potty Training Readiness
- You’re changing diapers less. If your little one is staying dry for an hour or two at a time or if they wake from nap or nighttime and they are still dry, this could mean they are ready to start potty training.
- Their bowel movements become predictable.
- If you start to notice a pattern to their potty habits, it may be a good time to pull out the training potty.
- They don’t like having a dirty diaper or announce that they need to be changed. This may become a common conversation in your house, but it’s a great indication of potty readiness!
- They talk the talk. If they start communicating with you & mentioning words like “pee” and “poop,” they are well on their way to potty independence.
- They walk the walk. Your curious toddler may start to take an interest in your trips to the bathroom. If so, talk to them about what you are doing and encourage them to do the same!
Potty Training Tips
- Most children can be ready to start potty training between 18-24 months. Children will train easier before 24 months; some can become willful after that point.
- Both the family and the child need to be ready. Review the signs of readiness and make a plan with your significant other.
- If your child is having trouble, stop for 2-4 weeks and then try to restart.
- Find a time when you can be around during the week to start potty training. Summer vacations or holidays are the best times.
- Sticker charts are great. If your child earns a certain number of stickers, they can earn a non-food reward.
- If your child still wants to go in their diaper, take them out of it. If they are wearing underwear, they will feel uncomfortable when they are wet. If you are concerned about the mess, you can put the underpants on under the diaper. For those kids who don’t like wearing underpants, encourage them to wear them for a short time and offer rewards when they keep them clean and dry.
As a side note, there is nothing developmentally different between pull-ups and a diaper. Training will go quicker with underpants.
- If your child has a certain area of the house he/she prefers to go potty in, it might be a good idea to get a portable potty and let him/her try that.
- Put the portable potty in a room where the child typically plays to help them get used to the idea.
- Most kids aren’t ready to be dry at night until they start waking up dry from naps and some mornings.
- To help keep them dry at night, stop liquids 2-3 hours after dinner, depending on your child’s bedtime.
- When traveling: take a portable potty or potty seat with you, but you may need pull-ups for long car trips or plane rides.
What’s your best potty training story?
Written by Dr. Robyn Strosaker, Pediatrician at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
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