Making potty training work for you and for the baby requires a thorough understanding of the process. You need to understand the right things to do and also what not to do to successfully potty train your baby. Some of these do’s and don’t’s are discussed below.
Start at the right time: Do not begin to potty train the baby when she is just out of some illness, or you have just got back to your work, or a new sibling has recently entered her life. Such times are challenging for the baby emotionally and potty training only adds to the burden and chances of efficient and successful potty training would be low.
Let the baby get ready by herself: There is no set age limit for getting your baby potty trained and you should wait till the time your baby develops physical, cognitive and behavioral skills to get potty trained. You can begin potty training your baby as early as 9 months or as late as 20 months. It should all depend upon the readiness of the baby. Do not show any hurry to begin potty training until your baby is ready. Starting potty training too soon only makes the process longer and proves to be of no use to either you or the baby.
Plan it out: Make a plan for your baby’s potty training. Be it buying a potty seat or books or rewards, plan it out and involve the baby to let her know what is happening. Decide on when and how you want to go ahead with it. What approach you are going to adopt or what accessories you may need. Books, rewards, surprises should all be planned and prepared well in advance. You should also have a backup plan for any regressions or rejections as well as you should be prepared for accidents.
Buck her up: Praise and appreciation on accomplishment of any task or milestone goes a long way in enhancing the growth and skills of the baby. The same applies to potty training as well. Praise your baby whenever she accomplishes a successful potty session. Appreciate the efforts she is making, even if she is not able to succeed at it initially. This encourages her and she is driven to perform better and accomplish the task the next time she gets the opportunity. She may fail initially a number of times but your encouragement and appreciation helps her a great deal.
Accept accidents: Accept the fact that accidents are bound to happen at first. Your baby cannot master the skill in a day or two. She needs some time to get there. So prepare yourself for the accidental wet beds, wet or soiled clothes and floor.
Decide on the approach you want to adopt and get going with potty training, while keeping in mind the above mentioned checklist.
Do not punish: Potty training is a difficult part not only for mothers but also for babies. They have to learn to respond and control their muscles to be successful. Do not punish your baby in anticipation to your repeated training and reminders. Your baby is going to take her own time and expecting her to do it too fast is really uncalled for. Give her that time and do not punish her on failures.
Do not pressurize: Keep reminding the baby that she has to try to use the potty but do not force or pressurise her to do so, if she doesn’t want to. Pressurizing her to get through faster may make her nervous and she may begin to hold stools, which can lead to problems like chronic constipation. Wait for the right time to start and allow your baby to take as much time she wants to learn the skill.
Do not show hurry: Potty training is a time taking process and once you decide to go for it, you should be prepared to give the much needed time and patience to get your child potty trained. Any sort of hurry only lengthens the process. And your baby may actually be discouraged by your attitude making the process still tougher.
Do not lose patience: Potty training your baby may take you weeks altogether, though in some cases it may be accomplished in just a few days. Accept the time that your baby takes to learn. Be patient with the baby and do not, in any case, force the baby into it as it may result in regression and repulsion and the baby may not be ready for it for long. Let her take her own time and develop the skills to get trained.
The process of potty-training your baby is time taking and gradual. More than your baby, it’s a task in your part to keep patience and follow the directions. Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind to successfully potty train your baby.