My City Woman's blog on toilet training for toddlers

How to potty train your child

Potty training is the most critical of skill one can teach their child at a very young age. Many parents wait until the child is about age to go to the playgroup. Some depend on the daycares to teach the child the nuances. Once the baby is 2 years old, getting him or her to learn a new way may become tricky. I have two kids and I managed to potty train them very early on in their lives. You may not have to wait until that long. One the child starts to sit on his own, around 8-9 months old, you should be good to introduce the concept. Here are my tips to help all you mommies get over it with ease.

  1. Buy a small potty seat – Shops which stock all things related to babies are likely to have it. They have seats of many elaborate designs like a dog or monkey faced. My big advice here to you is “Get a simple one”. The child needs to understand that its not a toy and there is a purpose to it.
  2. Get the child to use it – You would probably know when the child is having the urge to release himself. Take that cue and get him to sit on it at that time. The child might feel uncomfortable probably the first time. Remember that the ergonomics of the seat always helps make the process easier for the child. After one or two attempts, the child would know instinctively know and feel more comfortable in the seat.
  3. Teach your child – While the child is at it, probably waiting to poop, use this time to show to put pressure – could be an expression- “umm-um”. This helps him take the cue. And yes, it works. Teach the child a word that you think would be easier for him to associate or even say… like “poopy” or “poo-poo”. You need to say it and repeat it at this time as you talk to your child. Very soon your baby will own the word and express it to you at an appropriate time. Watch out for his cues more attentively, initially. He may make a very subtle indication the first time around! As the exercise becomes more repetitive each day, the child will get more and more comfortable.
  4. No pants time – Allow your child to go around the house naked, without pants. Every time this urge comes on, he would run to you asking for the seat! Every 30 to 40 mins , take him to the washroom and open the washbasin tap. This makes it easier for the child to pee. This activity of associating pee with bathroom is very entertaining for the child. In all of this fun, they are in fact learning a life skill.
  5. Appreciate the successful effort – Last but not the least, appreciate your child, clap for him, say a big “wow”, say”hey you are growing up fast, big boy , huh? like papa!” , say things like “Awesome, looks like you are growing up to be a pretty awesome girl” and then stop before you overdo it. Move on to other things. I haven’t bribed my children with candies to get them to poop yet, if it works for you, do go ahead!

I agree that initially for say a week or 10 days it would keep you on your toes. But trust me, its a worthwhile exercise. Very soon, even if the child pees in the diaper, he would tell you he has! When he wants to poop, he would tell you immediately. A potty trained child is, indeed, every mothers’ dream! All you need is trust in your little one and loads of patience.

Read on the adverse effects of not potty training your child as early as possible.

  • Diaper rashes – Keeping your child in diaper might lead to itchy rashes. In humid weather, it becomes imperative to dust the child with anti-bacterial talc before putting on the diaper.
  • UTD’s – Unknowingly leaving your child in a diaper full of pee and sometimes poop, exposes the child to the risk of urinary tract infection.

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