Potty Training Techniques

You may have asked your friends and relatives who have older children about their best tips for potty training, and what you probably got in response was a series of narratives about child’s unique journey from diapers to big kid pants. This is because no two children are exactly alike, not even identical twins.

Toilet Training Is Not a Competition

The most important thing to remember is that the goal of toilet training is for your child to learn to use the toilet independently. The most important thing is not for your child to learn to use the toilet sooner than other children learn to use it, and it is a losing battle to approach it this way. For a reality check, the next time your cousin tells you that her son starting wearing big kid pants when he was two-and-a-half and never had an accident, try to think of a time when it mattered that you were better than someone else at using the toilet. Toilet training is a stage, and each child goes through it in his or her own way. If it feels like people are humble-bragging and trying to make you feel inferior when they tell you their best tips for potty training, that may well be the case.

Take Cues from Your Child

The best techniques for potty training are actually questions. When your child is ready to be responsive to toilet training, he or she will start to show signs of potty training readiness. Insisting too early that your child stay dry all day without diapers will only lead to frustration, and punishing your child for having an accident will only cause him or her to have negative feelings toward potty training. For example, does your child seem to notice that only babies and toddlers wear diapers, while big kid underwear is one of the trappings of the prime of one’s life, along with going to school, playing on the big playground equipment, eating with a knife and fork, and all the other things your young child looks forward to doing? The physical ability to control bowel movements usually develops before bladder control, and this is related to some potty training readiness signs.

Does your child tell you when he has had a bowel movement? Does he have a favorite place in the house where he feels most comfortable to have bowel movements? Does he usually have them at about the same time each day? If so, he is ready to start using the potty, even if he occasionally has bladder control accidents. Perhaps most importantly, children who want to use the potty and wear big kid underwear are ready to start potty training.