Month 18 Worry: How Do I Start Potty Training?
The most common medical concern for parents of children this age
What Parents Can Do
Start the potty training process in your child’s second year of life and start gently. Put the potty in or near the bathroom and allow your toddler to see it as part of the environment. Allow her to sit on it with her diaper on.
Know that potty training is usually a two steps forward, one step back kind of process. Initial excitement may lead to general indifference or even anger … and then there are the toddler’s feelings to deal with! Try putting your toddler on the potty without a diaper. Read a book on the potty while the bathtub is filling. If the process becomes stressful for you or your toddler, back off.
You might also wait until the weather is warmer and let your child out in the yard without clothes or wearing underwear. Have the potty available if she feels the urge, and gently guide her to sit every so often. Downplay the failures and cheer the successes. After a number of trials of bare-bottomed frolicking, many toddlers will find it hard to go back to a bulky diaper. If your child is not developmentally ready, don’t feel bad about tabling the issue and coming back to it in a few weeks.
If your child has a set back, make pooping and peeing in the diaper as inconvenient as possible for her. Have her get the new diaper and wipes, have her throw away the soiled diaper in the garbage. And while changing the diaper, non-judgmental statements such as, “Some day you are going to use the potty like a big girl and Mommy will be so proud,” go a long way to motivate.
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