How to potty train a child?


In every family with small children, the issue of potty training is relevant. There comes a time when moms and dads understand: it’s time to think about the process of «transition» from a diaper to a personal hygiene item. Opinions around this topic, as usual, are divided, but general recommendations of pediatricians and psychologists can be distinguished. We have prepared an understandable longread specially for you.

When to start?

All parents are interested in the fact that the child starts going to the potty as early as possible: the baby will become more independent, and you will no longer have to spend money on diapers. In an attempt to speed up this process, they begin to accustom the child to the potty hardly from the first days, as he sits down and takes his first steps. And therein lies a tactical error!

Dr. Komarovsky argues that there is nothing wrong with introducing a child from infancy to the toilet room or the potty itself. But you should start direct accustoming only from the moment of children’s readiness for this process. And this readiness is formed in all children individually.

The optimal time for the first conscious planting on a pot is 2-3 years, but most importantly, not earlier than 18 months. During this period, the child develops areas of the brain responsible for controlling the processes of defecation and urination. Thus, it will no longer be a reflex, but a conscious desire of the baby to empty himself in a clearly defined place.

A word about readiness

Yes, there are times when a child begins to consciously go to the pot a little earlier — some children do it right away on their own and even without prompting. But this is not always the case. This is where the important readiness factors, which are strictly individual for each baby, come to the rescue.
So, a child can be successfully potty trained if he:

  • understands what needs a pot is needed for, does not perceive it as a toy, but the process itself as entertainment;
  • stands firmly and confidently on his feet, walks and sits, and can also get up from the potty without assistance;
  • not afraid to retire, sitting on a potty, and not afraid of the “unit” itself (does not cry at its sight, does not worry, does not hide).

Another interesting factor is the presence of a sense of disgust. Closer to the age of 2-3 years, many children have a feeling of disgust, and for sure many experienced parents will understand what it is about. The kid suddenly demands to change a T-shirt stained with paint, or tights on which a drop of water has fallen. As a rule, after this, the child begins to bring discomfort and a filled diaper. All these are signs that you can go to the store for a pot.

«Pot» — how much in this word!

Choosing the first pot is not an easy task, given that the success of the entire toilet “campaign” depends on the quality of the purchase. Experts advise to purchase the simplest pot from the range. No «superhouses», «thrones» and «musical devices». First, they cause a feeling of delight in children, and then they get bored, turning into a toy or distracting the baby from the main business.

The pot should be associated with the child with its direct purpose. Be sure to set a rule: the pot is only in the bathroom, and is used there.

General recommendations

General tips for potty training your baby for the first time will help you avoid disappointment and make the process of potty training simple and straightforward. Here they are:

  1. Do not put your child on the potty immediately, first introduce him to this personal hygiene item. Show the pot, let me hold it, explain what it is for.
  2. Run themed games. Put a doll, a soft toy on the pot and, using its example, explain in detail how to use the device (you can pour water there and then wash the pot). The main thing here is not to overdo it so that it does not turn into a theatrical performance. Only a clear explanation of the process itself (in the toilet, where the pot is supposed to stand).
  3. «Guard» the time of a successful landing. For example, immediately after waking up or after eating. Pay attention to the baby’s fidgeting or his indirect attempts to empty himself.
  4. At first, it is advisable to keep a small schedule: drop the child, for example, after sleep, after dinner, before and after a walk, before going to bed. During the rest of the time, it is enough to observe the behavior of the baby. Over time, you will definitely catch your own, individual toilet regimen.
  5. Praise your child for success — loudly and joyfully, saying what an adult he is now. But for mistakes, do not scold and do not punish.
  6. Pay the attention of the child not only to the process on the potty itself, but also to all the “accompanying” stages. First, you need to get the pot, then take off your pants, remove the contents of the pot (by the way, where to do this, the baby also needs to be shown), wash the pot and put it in place until the next time.
  7. Do not rush the child and do not put pressure on him. Every kid has failures in this difficult task, but sooner or later everyone will learn to use the potty (and then the toilet).
  8. You should not devalue children’s fears of the potty, say phrases like “If you don’t learn how to use the potty, everyone will laugh at you”, there is no need to compare the child with other supposedly more skilled kids. Everyone has their own pace and their mistakes!

Literature to help

Potty training books are a great resource for parents. Books on the “toilet” theme can be read with the baby: by repeating the heroes of the same age, it will be easier for a son or daughter to overcome the first “potty” difficulties.

one. «Connie potty time» (Liana Schneider). With the help of this book, the child will learn to recognize the urge to void and, using the example of the girl Connie, will refuse to wear a diaper.

2. «Hello potty!» (Merce Sesh, Mirichel Noguera). The book is about the boy Tosha, who said goodbye to the diaper. Now he has to master the pot — this is what he will teach the little reader. You can look at detailed pictures and talk about the purpose of different items in the toilet room.

3. «About the pot. Poems for every day «(Ekaterina Miloslavskaya). An excellent book with funny poems, full of necessary details. What is a toilet and toilet paper? Where did wet pants come from? How to use different hygiene items? And all this with interesting interactive pages.

four. “Hurry to the potty, my friend!” (Sally Lloyd-Jones). A funny, and most importantly visual book about a rabbit and his friends in search of a pot. It can help if the baby, after the first planting, has fears of a new “unit” and process.

For those parents who like to educate their children in a fun and exciting way, books about the contents of the potty will come to the rescue, no matter how shocking it may sound. Many children adore this topic: it causes them laughter and genuine interest at that very age of learning. Why are such books useful? First of all, they will eliminate fears and embarrassment, and also help the baby listen to the signals of his body.
You can read about the natural process of coping with need:

  • «The little mole who wanted to know who put it on his head» (Werner Holzwarth, Wolf Erlbruch)
  • «The Little Book of Poop» (Pernilla Stalfelt)
  • «Adventures of poop» (Anna Suchkova).

Of course, the most important thing is to maintain equanimity and love for your child. After all, there is not a single adult who has not learned to go to the potty! Your kid will definitely learn!


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