Hi this is Terri Borman child care provider and author of “Shapes Go to School.” A big milestone for the little ones in my care is potty training. I usually start potty training a child around the age of 2. I look for signs that he/she may be ready and then I talk to the parents. In order for the child to be successful, the parents and the day care need to be on the same page. Consistency, routine, and patience are critical for success.
Here are some signs that a child is ready for potty training. 1.) The child understands and follows simple instructions. 2.) The child may tell you through words or actions that he/she needs to go potty. For instance, the child may pull at the diaper while he/she is going potty. 3.) The child stays dry for periods of 2 hours or longer during the day. 4.) The child can pull his/her pants down and then back up again. 5.) The child can sit and then get back up from a potty chair unassisted.
If the child can do most of the things above, then the child is ready for potty training. If there were several things above that the child cannot do, then you should wait a little longer before starting to potty train. However, this does not mean give up to the idea of potty training. You should start working with the child on the things above that had he/she could not do. For instance, if the child could not pull down and up his/her pants, then start working with the child during diaper changes by having them help you pull their pants down and up.
When you decide it is time to start potty training, then you need to get the right equipment. The best potty chair I have found that keeps potty inside especially little boys potty is made by Fisher Price (see picture). This chair is also very easy to clean and sanitize. It’s also time to get rid of the diapers and go to pull-ups. Pull-ups will be easier for them to pull up and down by themselves. Also, dress the child in clothes that are easy for them to manage.
Schedule potty breaks often. I schedule them every hour and half hour and always right after a snack/meal with drinks. If you can get them quickly on the potty chair right after they wake up from a nighttime sleep or a daytime nap, they will almost always have success on the potty. Let them sit for several minutes and be positive regardless if they are successful or not.
They love to put stickers on their worksheets so have a sticker chart for them to track their potty time successes. Set up a reward system for so many stickers you get a prize like a new book. I would love to plug my book “Shapes Go to School” sold at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. You could also use trips to the park or a picnic as a reward. Click on the link for a free printable Potty Success Chart. Potty Success Chart
For whatever reason, some children take longer to train themselves to do their #2 business on the potty. One of my daughter’s was very reluctant to doing #2 on the potty. She would bring me a diaper when she needed to go #2. If I refused to let her wear a diaper, she would hide somewhere and do it in her underwear or she would hold it for days. One day she just started to go #2 on the potty.
Help your child be successful staying dry at night by cutting off all liquids at least an hour before bedtime and always have one last potty break before bedtime. Remember it’s about consistency, routine, and patience.