How To Potty Train A 3 1/2 Year Old Boy Potty Training – A Simple 4 Step Formula for Initiating Toilet Training

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Potty Training – A Simple 4 Step Formula for Initiating Toilet Training

“I’m so done with diapers!” moans a mother as she looks at the high price on the jumbo pack of diapers. “Is it time for my child to start potty training?”

Potty training is a big milestone for children. But how do parents know when to start? Intuition, expectations, common sense and observation play a key role in starting potty training.

Step #1-Create a Parent/Child Team

Potty training is a joint effort between parent and child. Some parents may assume that they are in charge, while other parents put the child at the helm. In reality, potty training is a partnership. Parents provide support, potty training tools, books and dry clothes; children do the “go”.

Understanding the concept that potty training is a team effort between parent and child, and not a command and control situation, is critical to success. The strict and impatient search for the goal puts pressure on the child, resulting in stress, anxiety and in some cases delayed potty training.

Step #2-Part first does not ensure quick results

Extensive research on intensive potty training has shown that starting the process earlier is in fact correlated to the extended duration of potty training. Those parents who start training prematurely find that the potty training process takes longer.

Children must develop bladder and muscle control before they can control the toilet. Parents can adhere to this approximate timeline of readiness: 15-18 months the child feels that his clothes are wet; 18 months the child can urinate on the potty if he sits on it; 2- 2 1/2 years the child could notify the parent that he has to go; and 3-4 years the child can have the ability to “hold” and visit the bathroom alone.

Step # 3-Determine the preparation for the child’s development

When you decide to start the potty training process, chronological age may not be the correct indicator for preparation. The parent should look for signs that the child is developmentally ready. This is especially true for babies who were born prematurely and children who are developmentally delayed.

Some good signs of readiness are: the child can sit and walk well, the child can stay dry for 2 hours or more, the child is interested in doing what older children or adults do, the child is able to follow and carry out instructions simple, and the child seems to understand what the pot is for and uses the words related to using the bathroom.

Parents should assess the child’s temperament. Important questions to ask are: is the child able to focus, what is his attention, is the child easily frustrated, is the child easily angry or discouraged.

For most children, potty training occurs between the ages of 2 and 3, with most children trained by 4.

Step #4-Go now, go!

Today is the day! Parents need to make sure that the child is in good health, and that the house is quiet with no impending turbulence, such as an upcoming move, a new baby being brought into the home, or a parent leaving on a trip.

Dress the child in easy-to-remove clothing such as sweatpants with an elastic waistband. Snaps, buttons and zippers are difficult for small hands and take time to manipulate when the emergency arises. To reduce the pressure on the child, allow them to stay in diapers during the first days of potty training. Gradually transition into underwear for short amounts of time as their dry times become longer and longer.

After a meal, a nap, or when they come from outside are good times to encourage the child to jump on the potty. Parents should be attentive to the indicators of when the child may have the desire to go.

Accompany the child to the potty and stay with him. The visit to the bathroom should be short and sweet; five minutes is a long time. Offer reading material, or use a fun training tool or toy to make the five minutes challenging. Important: if the child wants to get out of the potty before five minutes, do not force him to stay.

Praise, praise, praise! Small milestones deserve lots of hugs and kisses. It’s really something for a little tyke to jump on the potty by himself, pull his pants, or do it in the bathroom (even if it’s just to be a little late). Do not scold the child for having accidents, ever.

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