One of the most important stages in your child’s development is the transition from diapers to using the restroom. It’s also one of the most stressful parts of parenthood, as determining which is the best potty training method for your little one can be quite difficult.
There are several different techniques that people use to teach their children to relieve their tiny bowels and bladders in the toilet rather than in their pants. Here are the top five ways to get that poop and pee where it should be.
1. The Super-Fast Method
This is the most intense way to train your little one to use the bathroom. Some versions call for just one day while others advise to set aside several days, but it really depends on your child’s level of development. To apply this method, you’ll need to spend every waking hour drilling with your child. Here are the general steps:
- Let him go diaperless and drink lots of liquids.
- Take him to the bathroom multiple times each hour; the 3-day potty training method calls for a middle-of-the-night run, but is thought to be very effective.
- Continue in this manner, and don’t leave your home until the training is complete.
It’s important to stay in an area where it’s easy to clean inevitable messes. Use mistakes as teaching moments, focusing on positive reinforcement.
2. The Incentivizing Method
Every kid loves a treat, whether it’s a special dessert, a fun outing, or a new toy. You can use that to your advantage when you train your toddler to tinkle in the toilet. If you follow this method, every successful trip to the restroom can result in a reward. To keep from breaking the bank, you could use a sticker system to build up to a bigger payoff.
There is a potential problem to consider before using this method: your child may expect a similar prize-based system along with every new life lesson. However, you may be able to get around this with clear communication or by simplifying your rewards.
3. The Watch-and-Wait Method
Your youngster takes the reins when you utilize this technique. Basically, all you need to do is wait for your child to indicate that it’s time for the potty training to begin. There are several ways she might communicate this to you. Here are a few signs, according to Parenting Science:
- Discomfort with messy diapers, such as vocal and facial cues
- Interest in changing from diapers to underwear
- Ability to comply with your instructions
- Dryness following naps or for multiple-hour stretches of the day
- A desire to use the bathroom just like
If you choose to train your child this way, you’ll need a ton of patience. The main roles you’ll play are acting as a cheerleader and cleaning up lots of messes.
4. The Training-Pants Method
Part of potty training is helping your child understand the discomfort of wetting or soiling her pants. That’s where training pants come in, as they feel different from diapers when they’re wet. However, they’ll keep the mess of unavoidable accidents off her clothing as you gently train her to make it to the bathroom on time.
This method is basically a longer version of super-fast techniques. You will still need to take your child to the bathroom often to catch the teachable moments, but there is more room for mistakes or disruptions in your schedule.
5. The Choose-Your-Own Method
You can nudge your toddler toward potty training by allowing certain choices that make him feel like even more a part of the process. This involves taking him to the store to pick out awesome new underpants and a shiny new training toilet. There are a couple of reasons this method can work well.
First, it can foster a sense of responsibility. Your little guy could be disappointed by making a mess in his new underpants, and his curiosity can lead him to want to learn how to use his new toilet. Second, like the training-pants method, he will feel the uncomfortable sensation of relieving himself more clearly than he would in diapers, hopefully prompting him to try to make it to the bathroom the next time.
Do What Works for Your Little One
These are all generally accepted as the best potty training techniques. However, don’t be afraid to experiment by adding your own twists or combining methods. Most importantly, don’t give up. There will likely be a frustrating run of messy britches and close calls but eventually, you’ll get your baby fully potty trained and ready for the next big step in life.