Potty training

  Waiting for the day when your kids no longer need diapers? No more filling the trash with stinky diapers. No more skin allergies, diaper rash and discomfort to babies. Well, it does give immense pleasure when you see your kid independent and happy. Overall family expenditure increases after the arrival of a newborn, in which diapers expense is the major part. Baby needs around 8 to 10 diaper change every day, which would gradually decrease when baby grows up.  By end of the first year, most parents get so exhausted of buying/changing diapers that they look out for methods to potty train their child. This is not only because of the diaper costs but also the inconvenience caused to the moms and babies.
The child is fully ready for potty training by age of 18 months, this is when he is physically ready to walk to his potty or  have developed some verbal skills to communicate his urge to mom/caregiver. For easy transformation, its a good idea to start potty training from one year onwards.
Various potty seats are available in market.  The two basic categories are stand alone seat or toddler size seat. Stand alone seat requires to empty the contents in toilet whereas toddler size potty seat can be directly fitted into the toilet seats. Stand alone seats are comfortable for younger babies till they get into practice and lose the fear of falling. Toddler size seats is convenient for moms as it requires little work. Here are few tried and tested tips to help baby in getting potty trained.
  •  Tap method – This is applicable for babies as young as 6 months. This method is basically for reducing the number of diapers for younger babies (I have seen this method getting implemented by moms who have never used diaper with their kids) The moms need to carry their babies to potty/sink in regular intervals and make them pee there.
Carry your baby to his potty and open the tap nearby and tap baby genitals with some water. This can be done when your baby has not urinated for long time. The urge to pee and the sound of water makes their mind to register what they are supposed to do. Try this activity in every hour. Do this when you are at home and have some free time in hand. The babies will get trained  this way and will only pee in their potty seats. Moms needs to just make sure they are taking kids every 1 to 2 hours. The below steps are applicable for toddlers above 18 months when they have developed verbal communication and some mobility.
  • Setting him free – If the baby uses 4 to 5 diapers in a day, reduce it to 3. Keep it on during nights sleep and nap time.  During the play times, make him wear cloth diaper or let him stay free. When your baby wets his clothes, you can explain him that before this happens he needs pull down his pants and visit to his potty. Next time toddler would try to visit his potty seat rather than getting uncomfortable in his wet pants.
  • Observing your child – When you watch your child peeing or making some facial gestures and about to pee (they might give some hint like pressing their tummy or clinging to you or making some sound or making that embarrassing face) immediately take him to his potty seat. The child would be able to associate this urge with action and might proceed next time on his own.
  • Setting up a routine – Take your child to  his potty seat when he wakes up in morning. He should also make it a habit to clear his bowel movements every morning. Then onwards take him every hour, after drinking extra fluid or after any heavy meals.
  • Kids choice seat – Buy a good seat of your kids choice. Invest in good, colorful, with music and sound option potty seat. The child would love to sit and use it. Try taking toddler along  when you plan to buy his seat. Let him choose and decide what he likes.
  • Familiarize with words – Familiarize baby with the words poo, pee and potty. If he is able to tell you when he has the urge it would help you to carry him directly to his seat.
  • Demonstrate with examples – Let the child observe any friend, sibling or cousin or maybe yourself performing the act. This way they will understand the usual practice everyone follows.
  • Coordinate with daycare – If your child goes to day care, coordinate with caregiver or daycare teacher.  Ask them to follow same routine as you are following or would like to follow.
  • Praise or reward him – Praise/reward him for each succesfull attempt. They will get encouraged and will be happy to see their mom happy.
Lastly, it does require effort and your time but never lose your patience. Keep trying. If you feel your child is not ready to get trained, its better not to start all at one go, rather the change should be introduced gradually. This will give baby enough time to understand what he is supposed to do for e.g start with one attempt in first day and gradually increase number of attempts each day. Incase you feel your baby is not ready for a change, give him a week/month time.