You’ve reached one of the most exciting stages of toddlerhood, and so has your child. Your child is interested in potty training, and you are eager to get started. A child who isn’t ready or thrilled to begin potty training can’t be forced to learn to use the toilet any more than you can make a fussy eater try new foods.
You shouldn’t worry if you run into difficulties with potty training, even after you and your child have agreed the time is right. If this sounds familiar, keep reading for some typical potty training issues and how to deal with them.
Are They Ready?
Depending on the child, potty training can begin as early as 18 months and as late as 3 years. Your toddler’s level of engagement is more important than their chronological age. “The two big surprises are that toilet teaching isn’t fast and smooth,” explains Dr. Maureen O’Brien, Ph.D.
You can’t coerce a child into using the toilet. When people get older, they are more prone to keep their bowel motions or wait to urinate if they are uncomfortable. Constipation and urinary tract infections are just two symptoms of a more extensive condition, which we are all too familiar with.
How can you ease their transition to the toilet without making them anxious? You should, first and foremost, be patient. Involve them in every step of the procedure. Your youngster will feel more in charge of the situation if they are able to select their own underwear and potty chair or portable toilet seat.
My Child Never Tells Me They Have to Use the Bathroom!
Unfortunately, many kids don’t inform their parents when they have to go to the bathroom. After all, it’s a huge ordeal for young children to use the restroom on their own. Some kids don’t have the vocabulary to go along with the basic toilet training concepts (such as urges and feelings) that they need to acquire. They are unable to express what they require. Some people, for instance, have difficulty focusing because they keep learning new tricks and playing with new toys.
To avoid this, planning frequent pauses for using the restroom is best. Inquire whether your youngster needs to go to the bathroom. Encourage them to try it out by giving them verbal hints and reminders. If your toddler tries using the toilet but doesn’t succeed, you should still praise him or her for making an effort.
Is It Possible to Have Too Much Going On?
It’s a hectic time to be a toddler. They spend most of their time having play dates, hanging out with their pal Bluey, and playing with their toys. This might lead to a disregard for the cues their body is sending them. So, how can you avoid an accident because you’re too busy?
Schedule regular bathroom breaks, especially after eating. Help your child make the connection between their wriggling and squirming and the fact that they need to use the restroom by setting reminders and expectations about when to go.
Can Anxiety Occur During Potty Training?
Anxiety about using the toilet might arise for a variety of causes for your little one. Perhaps the loud flushing noise or an unreasonable dread of being flushed down the toilet is to blame. Or perhaps they have trouble using the restroom while they are not at home.
Apprehension is just as treatable as other forms of worry, but there is no silver bullet. They may feel less anxious and worried if you take the time to address their concerns and have them practice sitting on the potty for brief intervals. Even if you do nothing else to allay their fears, just letting them watch you use the restroom will do wonders.
When Disaster Strikes, How Should You React?
Yes, even in the restroom, accidents may and do occur at school and on the playground. You should never penalize your child for misusing the restroom, but keeping your cool in these situations is crucial.
The double explanation is as follows: A child’s self-esteem can take a hit if they are disciplined for making a mistake. After all, they’ve had plenty to be ashamed of as it is. This will tint their experience negatively and reduce their motivation to attempt new things. More accidents are possible and likely as a result. So, what are your options? Should you do this or that?
Be understanding and supportive when your child makes a mistake. If they had an accident because they forgot to use the restroom before leaving the house, for example, talk about what they can do to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Reinforcement and praise are essential.
Is There a Regression Period After Potty Training?
The situation has been excellent! It’s been a week since your child last had an accident while using the toilet, and you couldn’t be happier that the ordeal of potty training is finally over. Then something happens, and it’s like starting over again.
When your child regresses during potty training, it can be extremely frustrating. Perhaps you’ve switched to wearing a pull-up at night, even though you used always to wear dry underwear. Or perhaps they were potty-trained at one point but now prefer to use a diaper.
Take heart that setbacks are commonplace, whichever domain has suffered. It could begin a new phase in their lives, such as when they go to a new school or get a new sibling. Have a conversation and pay attention to your kid’s perspective. Learn how to best reassure and support them in their toilet training efforts by listening to them as they share what they’re going through or what’s new.