Having a baby is an exciting time in the lives of many people. As this child grows and begins to be more independent, it is important that they learn how to use the toilet by themselves or be potty trained. There are a number of social stigmas associated with potty accidents and development so it is important to help children achieve this milestone.
On top of this, removing the daily, or hourly, diaper changes from the family routine can be an amazing thing. There are endless theories about the best ways to potty train children with some different approaches for boys and girls. What are these methods and which one is the best for your child?
How to potty train a boy
When you are raising a little boy you sometimes run into a number of interesting and sometimes amusing issues. Changing diapers for example, can get a bit messy if you don’t do it just so. Almost everyone has a story about when little Billy squirted his untie while she was changing his diaper.
While their infancy is filled with amusing little stories such as that one, how do you know when your little one is ready to lose the diaper?
Every child is different and each develops at their very own pace. With this in mind, potty training is easier when you are involved in your child’s daily routines. This involvement helps allow you to identify what is working for them and what isn’t. For boys, the most frequent question is whether they should be potty trained sitting down or standing up. This is clearly a question that is only relevant for little boys so they get to have a more unique challenge then little girls.
For the most part it is best to begin training sitting down. This allows the toddler to be comfortable while they are on the toilet which decreases any apprehension they may feel. It is a new experience and for some toddlers it can be frightening.
If you are able to monitor how often your toddler drinks, you can better help them reach the toilet before having an accident. Some parents give their toddlers juice almost non-stop while potty training so that they have to use the bathroom frequently. This provides a number of learning opportunities. After observing their toddler drinking the parents would sit them on their potty and give them something fun to play with or to entertain them. After a few minutes it is likely that they would potty in the toilet. Praising the toddler after they do this correctly and rewarding them can reinforce this behavior and help encourage them to repeat it again. If this is done for a few days many toddlers will grasp the concept and accidents will become rarer.
While a toddler may be potty trained at this point it may still be beneficial to continue using diapers at night for a little bit until the toddler can confidently make it through the night without an accident. Switching diapers for big boy underpants can sometimes decrease the amount of time it takes a toddler to move through this phase.
How to potty train a girl
When potty training a girl there is obviously no question about whether she sits or stands. In many cases, female toddlers train much more easily than boys. Part of this is thought to be an increased desire to be clean while some believe it may just be developmental differences between the sexes.
Girls are typically ready to be trained near two years of age and tend to learn best by imitation. Since it is often the mother that is doing the potty training this isn’t much of a problem. Demonstrating that the toilet is nothing to be afraid of and showing them what is supposed to go where can go a long way towards helping a female toddler complete her potty training.
As mentioned with the boys training, potty training can be simplified by monitoring the liquids that the little girl consumes. After she has drank a decent amount of liquids, take her to her potty and have her sit down. Give her games and other interactive materials until she successfully uses the potty. After that, rewards and positive reinforcement can help her understand what she is supposed to do and make it easier for the potty experience to be retained and repeated.
Every child is different and individual development needs to be taken into consideration when potty training. Some children are ready at a younger age then others and this is neither a good nor bad thing. Some also have an advantage if they have older siblings that they have watched using the potty or being trained themselves. This has given them a little bit of experience with the potty that first children or only children don’t have.