Could there possibly be a more dangerous combination of a young child, plenty of drink, a relatively small target in the shape of a potty, and your brand-new carpet?
Potty training is one of those things which a great deal of parents worry about. The main concern which parents have is whether their child should already be starting to use a potty. This is the most important thing about potty training. It is not something which should be introduced or forced upon your child unless your child is already ready.
But that’s a little like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg, because how do you know whether your child is ready to use a potty unless you try getting them to use a potty?
The risk is that if you try getting your child to use a potty before they are ready then not only will they find this rather stressful and worrying, but there is almost certainly going to be a significantly higher chance of there being an accident. If there is an accident then this will only increase your child’s sense of anxiety, making the whole process more and more difficult, and somewhat self-defeating.
Believe it or not your child will tell you when they are ready to start potty training. Don’t get excited about the idea of having your child wander up to you one day and announce that they will be prepared to fit you in for a 20 minute slot that afternoon to go over the fundamental basics of lavatorial processes and hygiene.
But they will provide you with clues and signals which, if you are looking out for them, will give you a clear indication as to whether they are ready to try potty training. So what are the signals?
Two Hours Of Dryness
If your child remains dry for at least two hours at a time during the day then this may indicate that they are starting to settle into something of a routine, and this may offer you the opportunity to take advantage of that routine.
It may be a little disconcerting, but when your child is ready to start potty training it is probable that they will start to become curious when members of the family go to the toilet. You may find your child wandering in while you, your partner or older brothers or sisters are going to the toilet, but don’t feel that this behaviour should be discouraged. Take it as a signal that they are probably ready to explore the idea of potty training.
Regular Bowel Movements
It is likely that as your child becomes ready to try potty training their bowel movements will become more regular and more predictable. You may find for example that they always do a little poo straight after breakfast. This sort of regularity and routine is a clear indication that your child’s is ready to take the next step.
No, I’m not talking about bottom burps! Don’t take these as a signal or you’ll be trying to potty train your child from day one! But what you may find is that as your child is having a poo they make little noises, such as grunting. They may also starts to squat whilst they do their poo.
You may find that your child’s starts to let you know when their nappy needs changing. This is a great sign, and indicates that they have become very much more aware of what their lower end is doing.
These five points should all be kept in mind, because they can provide a good indication as to whether your child is ready to start potty training or not. If you don’t feel that these signals are evident, then don’t force potty training upon them, or you could end up delaying the process.
It is often a good idea not to worry about potty training during periods which may be slightly stressful for your child. So for example if there is a new baby arriving, you’re moving house, your child is moving from a cot to bed, or there is some other significant change going on within the family then your child may find potty training is just one thing too much to cope with. Remember, there is no rush. Everyone is different, and it will happen eventually!