While many kids are ready to start training by age 2, it's not uncommon for kids to not get interested in training until 2 1/2 or later. Before training begins, they recommend making sure that your little one shows interest in potty training and can understand and follow simple demands. Complaining about wet or dirty diapers is another good sign that they are ready to start potty training, and it is important to take your cues from your child. As the Mayo Clinic explains, starting before they are emotionally or physically ready can actually delay the training process. It is better to take a break and try again in a few months if things are not going right than to try to force it before your child is ready.
2. Don't be afraid to bribe them
Ok, so maybe 'offer incentives' is a better way to put it but almost everyone agrees that offering your child a reward for using the potty is a good way to fast track the process. Whether it comes in the form of their favorite snack, an extra bedtime story or just heaps of praise, it is not a bad idea to reinforce the concept that with great potties comes great rewards. Consider offering a little something extra if they can go all the way and wipe.
3. Sometimes fear is a factor
Over at Parenting.com, they explain that some children can have a hard time going 'number two' because they see their bowel movements as a part of themselves. Seeing it getting flushed away down the toilet can be very scary and difficult to understand. Reading a kids anatomy book to them and explaining what their digestive system is helping their bodies get rid of stuff it does not want so they can be healthy might help alleviate some of that fear.
4. Ready, aim....
A special challenge for potty training boys is to get them to try and pee standing up. Some suggest setting up some 'targets' in the bowl that they can try to aim at. While this can be fun (your husband probably still does it) we think this can cause trouble (and a mess) if your little man gets too excited and his aim is off. We think a great alternative is to put a few drops of blue food coloring in the bowl, so he can see the water change color from blue to green as he goes. This way he does not have to 'swerve around' trying to hit a little floating target.
5. Accidents happen
Chances are, potty training is one of your child's first attempts at mastering a skill. It is important to remember that there are most likely going to be setbacks and the occasional accident. The trick, as Whattoexpect.com explains, is to identify and watch for the triggers that can lead to accidents (fatigue, excitement, stress, etc.) and to try to prevent them in the first place. Of course, when an accident does happen, making sure your response is subdued and comforting can alleviate some of the stress your child will feel afterwards. Remember, they usually want to be a potty trained big boy or girl as badly as you want them to be as well.