Potty training is a significant part of a child's development, and the most important thing to remember is that every child develops differently. Toddlers show signs that they are ready to be potty trained at between 18 and 24 months. The same general principles apply to boys and girls, with a few exceptions. Remember to be patient and show a lot of encouragement when potty training a boy.
Explain to your child how to use the potty, then take him with you when purchasing. Talk to him about the various features and designs. Let him look at the selection and pick one. Take him to buy new underwear and let him choose the color or design. This will encourage him, as he'll feel included in the process.
Go to the bookstore and have your child pick out several books that are to be read only when he's on the potty. This will give him something to which to look forward. It's also a good idea to pick out books themed on potty training and read them with him to encourage him and to help him learn how to use the potty.
To allow your child to get to the potty and undress quickly, avoid belts, dungarees and overalls. Instead, dress your child in simple clothes that he can take off himself.
While some parents teach their child to use the toilet standing up, it's better in the initial stages to teach him to go sitting down. Your child may not be able to reach the rim of the toilet and may find it awkward to use a stepping stool to pee. Also, he may want to have a bowel movement at the time of peeing
Consistency is very important. Start by using a timer to remind him to go every 20 minutes or so. Over time, your child will tell you he needs to go before the timer goes off, or that he doesn't need to go when it does go off. You can gradually increase the time. Establishing a routine based around his daily activities also helps---for example, going 15 minutes after a meal or right before a nap or bedtime.
To encourage potty use, consider purchasing a special potty. These bowls have a hidden star or will change color when fluid hits them. Alternatively, you can put a little shampoo in the toilet or potty. Your child will enjoy the formation of bubbles upon peeing. You can also put blue food coloring or cleaning tablets in the toilet water. When your child pees, he will enjoy seeing the color change to green.
Have your little one practice his aim by putting Cheerios, shaving foam or ice cubes in the toilet, and let him practice drowning them by aiming and shooting. This will improve his accuracy, as well as his confidence.
Set up a reward chart and give your child a sticker every time he uses the potty. When he has used it a few times, reward him with a small treat, such as taking him to the park or buying a book or a toy. Praise your child for undressing himself and for both successful and unsuccessful attempts at using the potty.
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