A -- Assess your child's readiness
Some children are ready to start toilet training by 18 months or so,
but others aren't interested in the process until they're closer to
3. Rushing your child will only be counterproductive. Instead, watch
for signs of readiness, then give it a go.
B -- Buy the right equipment
First and foremost, this means investing in a child-sized potty or a
special seat to attach to your regular toilet. Think about which will
work best for your child before you go shopping. (FYI: Whichever you
choose, make sure your child can place his feet on the floor or a
stool so he can push when he's having a bowel movement.) You may also
want to pick up an explanatory picture book or video to help him get
interested in training.
C -- Create a routine
Set your child on the potty seat fully clothed once a day — after
breakfast, before his bath, or whenever else he's likely to have a
bowel movement (BM). This will help him get used to the potty and
accept it as part of his routine. If he doesn't want to sit on it,
that's okay. Never restrain him or physically force him to sit there —
especially if he seems scared.
If your child does balk, it's better to put the potty aside for a few
weeks or so before trying again. Then, if he's willing to sit there,
great. At this stage, don't even try to explain why he should poop or
pee in the potty — just let him to get used to the thing. Make sure
it's always in a convenient place. A portable potty can travel
outside, to the playroom, or even (go figure) to the bathroom.
D -- Ditch the diaper
Set your child on the potty seat diaperless. Again, let him get used
to what it feels like to sit there this way. At this point you can
start explaining that this is what Mommy and Daddy (and any older
siblings) do every day. That is, undressing before you sit down to go
to the bathroom is the grown-up thing to do.
If he gets the idea and produces something, fantastic! But don't push
him to perform. Again, wait until he's ready and demonstrates a clear
interest in using the toilet on his own.
E -- Explain the process
Show your child where his bowel movements go. The next time he poops
in his diaper, take him to his potty, sit him down, and empty the
diaper beneath him into the bowl. This will help him make the
connection between sitting and pooping. Empty his potty into the big
toilet and let him flush if he wants to so he can see where it goes.
(Don't make him do it if he's scared.) Teach him to dress himself and
wash his hands when he's done.
F -- Foster independence
Encourage your child to sit on his potty whenever he feels the urge
to go. Make sure he knows that he can tell you when he needs to go
and that you'll take him to the bathroom whenever he wants you to. If
you can, let him run around bare-butt sometimes, with the potty
nearby. Tell him he can use it whenever he wants to and occasionally
remind him that it's there if he needs it.
G -- Grab some training pants
Once training is underway, consider adding training pants — extra-
thick cloth or disposables that pull on like underwear — to your
routine. While the cloth training pants are less convenient, many
parents say they work better because your child can really feel it
when he pees or poops in them. Whichever option you choose, introduce
them gradually — probably for a few hours at a time — and stick with
diapers at night for the time being.
When your child consistently seeks out the potty whenever he has to
go, you may want to move on to "big kid" underwear. Many moms and
dads have found that undies with a favorite cartoon character all
over them give kids a dandy incentive to stay dry.
H -- Handle setbacks gracefully
Virtually every child will have several accidents before being able
to stay dry all day long. Don't get angry or punish your child. After
all, it's only recently that his muscle development has allowed him
to hold his bladder and rectum closed at all. Mastering the process
will take time. When your child has an accident, calmly clean it up
and suggest (sweetly) that next time he try using his potty instead.
I -- Introduce night training
Don't give away that stash of diapers just yet. Even when your child
is consistently clean and dry all day, it may take several more
months or even years for him to stay dry all night. At this age, his
body is still too immature to reliably wake him up in the middle of
the night just to go to the bathroom. If he refuses to wear a diaper
or training pants at night, put a plastic sheet under the cloth ones
to minimize your cleanup after accidents.
You can help cut down on wet nights by not letting him drink too much
before bedtime and telling him that if he does wake up in the middle
of the night he can call you to help him get to the potty. You can
also try leaving his potty near his bed in case he wants to use it.
J -- Jump for joy -- you're done!
Believe it or not, when your child is mentally and physically ready
to learn this new skill, he will. And if you wait until he's really
ready to start, the process shouldn't be too painful for either of
you. Your child will eventually be trained, and you won't have to
think about diapers ever again — at least, not until the next baby.
Posted by Anggie