If toilet training is on your to-do list, you’re in luck—when the weather is warm, it’s a great time to start. Back yard play and lots of water make for the perfect time to leave the pants off and teach your child to learn when a pee is coming and how to get it in the potty. Let’s face it—pee on the lawn is better than on the floor.
Keep these 5 common toilet-training mistakes in mind and your tot will be on their way to big kid status in no time.
1. Don’t plan to train during a busy time. You need to be available to your child for 3-7 days. Put down the phone, block off the time if you can, and just hang out with your child, watching for signs that they need to go. The average age to start training is between 20 and 30 months.
2. Don’t start a power struggle. You can’t make your child go, but you can control how you present the expectations, and how you respond (not react) with respect when accidents happen—because they will. This is not the time to get highly emotional (positive or negative). When kids see that going to the bathroom has emotional power, you are inviting another power struggle which you do not need.
3. Don’t go back and forth between underwear and pull-ups. If you’re saying, ‘I believe you can use the potty now’, but you are putting a pull-up on when you make a quick run to the grocery store, your actions are screaming, ‘I don’t think you can do this, just pee in the pull-up!’
4. Don’t skimp on fluids. This is the time to get the drinks flowing so that there are lots of opportunities for learning. Let your child run around naked (from the waist down at least). This is how they will learn the feelings associated with voiding and will also learn to ‘catch it in the act’. There won’t be much time to get to a potty, so have one close by.
5. Don’t confuse night training and day training. They are completely unrelated. It’s just fine to use diapers at night and during naptime. Deep sleep can keep a child from awareness of the need to use the washroom. If your little one is disappointed about a night-time diaper, remind them that their body is doing what it should be doing, getting lots of sleep to keep them healthy. Their body will figure it out with time.