The Ins and Outs of Potty Training

Although there’s no perfect time to potty train your child because every child matures at his own pace, starting in the summer can have its benefits. With preschool beginning in the fall, having your toddler toilet trained can be a huge plus or even a necessity, as some daycares and preschools, make potty training a requirement. Aside from preparing them for school, potty training during the summer has other perks too: preschool completely potty trained.

  • Less clothing = less hassle. It’s much easier to potty train when you don’t have to worry about taking off layer upon layer of clothing every time you want to put them on the potty.
  • More fluids = more opportunities. The summer heat makes it easier for your children to take in more fluids, which in turn makes them urinate more frequently. This is especially helpful if you are practicing the timed approach.
  • Outdoor accidents > indoor accidents. Kids love playing outside during the summer and it goes without saying that its way easier to deal with an accident on the lawn than on your new sofa or white carpet.

Even with all of these things in your favor during the summer, its important to remember that ultimately your child must be both physically and mentally ready before you begin the potty training process. Of course this time may come later or earlier for each child, but typically many children are ready to be potty trained around the age of two and a half. Here are some signs that your child might be ready to start shedding those stinky diapers:

  • Bowel and bladder control. These are both indicators of physical readiness. If your child starts pooping around the same times every day and does not have any bowel movements during the night, then he is displaying signs of bowel control. If your child wakes up from naps with a dry diaper or only goes pee around every two hours, he is showing signs of bladder control.
  • Body language. If your child starts making facial expressions and noises such as grunts, or squatting every time they are doing their business, then she is showing signs of physical development and readiness for the toilet.
  • Communication. If your child starts telling you when his diaper is dirty or if they ask you to change it when it is dirty, then they are beginning to understand cleanliness, which is a big indicator of mental development. If they start asking you when they get to use the toilet or wear big boy underwear or big girl panties, then they are definitely showing signs of emotional readiness.
  • Interest. If your child shows interest when you or any other family members use the bathroom, then they are showing mental readiness.

When your child starts showing all these signs, it’s time to start putting them on the potty! It’s not all peaches and cream from there though. Toilet training can be tough and some children take much longer than others to get the hang of it. Have a look at these tips and tricks that other parents have found helpful when potty training their little ones:

  • Patience. Accidents are unavoidable and its important to remember not to get frustrated when they do occur. Reassure your child that accidents happen and encourage him to do better next time.
  • Positivity. Make sure that your child knows that using the bathroom on the toilet is a good thing and tell her that she did a good job when she goes pee or poo like a big kid.
  • Timing. Some parents find the timing technique very effective. Putting your child on the pottyevery 15, 30, 45 minutes until it becomes a regular habit. This method reduces accidents.
  • Rewards. A lot of parents have sworn by this method. Every time your child goes potty you can give her a little reward in the form of a sticker or a nickel. When she hits a milestone, like first full day without an accident or first successful night in big girl panties, you can giver her a super-special potty prize. This can be anything from a toy of her choice from the dollar store or an extra big piece of her favorite desert.
  • Game-time.For boys, potty training comes with an extra step. Peeing while standing up is oftentimes hard for little boys to master. Many parents recommend making a game out of it. Putting a few Cheerios or Fruit Loops in the toilet and having your son use aim at them is great idea for target practice.
  • Monkey See, Monkey Do. If you have a daughter, allow her to watch a female role model such as mother or older sister use the bathroom. If you have a son, allow him to watch a male role model such as father or older brother use the bathroom.

At Prep Academy, potty training is a requirement to enter the preschool program. However, our passionate staff in the junior program is dedicated to preparing your little one for preschool by helping you in the potty training process. Here at Prep, we believe in positive reinforcement. Whether it comes to learning how to use the potty or learning how to read, we believe in using praise to build confident and happy youngsters that recognize the importance of building their own independence.