So your baby isn’t a baby anymore. Instead, you have a growing preschooler. If you’re like most new parents, you’re probably way past ready to stop dealing with diapers and begin the transition to big-boy or big-girl underwear. However, you may not be sure of the best way to get the job done. If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. But don’t worry, these useful tips are sure to have your little one using the potty in no time!
Time It Right
The first thing to keep in mind is that every child is different. Whether you’ve already given the whole potty training thing a try or this is your very first attempt, timing is a key component to success. Your preschooler must be completely ready to learn or you will end up frustrating your child and wasting a lot of time. Fortunately, there are a few tell-tale signs that can indicate your child is ready to learn. If she is showing interest in the bathroom or telling you when she needs to go, that is a good sign she might be ready. Of course, some kids take it upon themselves to remove their diaper immediately after peeing or pooping. If your little one is doing that, you might want to begin the potty training process sooner rather than later.
It’s also important to keep in mind that some preschools have policies in place about when children are expected to be potty-trained. At GEMS World Academy Chicago – Early Years Preschool, parents are encouraged to make sure their children are trained before entering the 3-4 class. (Some students do start that class without being fully trained.) If you’re considering enrolling at a preschool, it makes sense to see what its policy is and consider it when starting to train your child.
When it comes to offering bribes… er… incentives, there are several ways you can do this. Again, each child and each household is different, so you’ll have to use your own judgment. If your preschooler loves decorating his clothing with stickers, then each time he uses the potty you can give him a sticker to wear on his outfit. Don’t worry, though. If your child doesn’t really get into the whole sticker thing, you can use candy, Cheerios, charts or even small toys from the dollar store. Anything that he views as a reward will work.
Possibly the single most difficult thing to do when you’re potty training a preschooler is to be patient. One way or another, kids eventually learn to use the potty on their own. Although this has become a funny anecdote when speaking to new parents, the old saying really is true: “By the time they graduate high school, they will know how to use the toilet.”
Just remember one super important thing during the potty-training process: Don’t turn it into a competition. Even if every other child in their preschool class is fully potty trained, making that an issue will only delay your child’s progress. They grow up so fast, so be sure to enjoy every moment to its fullest.