Are you tired of changing dirty diapers and spending a large portion of your family’s budget on diapers? Do you think your toddler is ready to begin toilet training?
According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, and in Oak Creek and Wauwatosa, “Toilet training is a huge step in a toddler’s life, and one that can be challenging for everyone involved. However, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if you keep a few things in mind.”
Timing is Everything
When it comes to potty training, nothing could be more true than the phrase, “Timing is everything.” As a parent, you have to be sure that your children are mature enough to understand the concept of potty training and developmentally ready to learn it.
Anderson says some good signs that your children might be ready to try potty training include showing an interest in others using the bathroom or complaining as soon as their diaper is wet or dirty, because they are uncomfortable.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want to start the potty training process when you have the time to commit to focusing on it.
“This isn’t something to try to tackle a day before you are heading out for a weekend trip,” says Anderson. “You’ll want to have an open schedule when you begin potty training, so you can stay close to home for a couple of days to dedicate the time needed to the process of it.”
Create Excitement and Motivation
Once you’ve determined that the timing is right to begin potty training, Anderson says creating excitement and motivation for the task at hand is critical.
“Take your children shopping to pick out the big boy or big girl underwear that they will be able to wear. Then, work together to create a potty training sticker chart that you can hang in the bathroom to track their success on. Be sure to let them put a sticker on the chart every time they go to the bathroom in the potty.”
“Generating excitement and motivation for the potty training process helps your children see that outgrowing their diapers and using the bathroom like big people is a really good thing.”
Patience is Key
After creating excitement and motivation for the potty process with your children, Anderson says the next thing you need to do is exhibit a lot of patience.
Anderson recommends that you start by taking your children to the bathroom every 10 minutes to see if they have to go potty. If they do, be sure to reward them with a sticker on their potty training chart. If they don’t, she says to stay positive and tell them that they can try again in 10 minutes.
“Patience is critical at this point,” says Anderson. “The last thing you want your children to sense is that you are frustrated, because then they will become frustrated as well. You have to stay positive and encouraging at all times in the potty training process, even when accidents happen.”
As your children start to understand the feeling of when they have to use the bathroom, Anderson says you can space out the trying time to 20 minutes and then even greater time periods.
“Praise is a huge motivator in children’s success,” says Anderson. “By remaining calm, focused on the task at hand, and positive, potty training your children can be accomplished in no time at all.”
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers free Parenting Talks and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.
The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, and in Oak Creek and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070.