Training Day: Tips on Training and Buying the Best Potty
One of the most welcome signs of parenthood, and perhaps the single biggest potential stress reliever of all when it comes to the rearing of children, is when it is time for potty training. To some, potty training is a nightmare. It’s sticky, it’s time consuming, and it can be frustrating for both you and your little one. Stampeding out of a movie theatre and waiting half an hour on a false alarm, can be very trying at times.
To others, it’s a window of opportunity. No more poopy adventures, no more expensive diaper bills, no more micro managing meal times. However, no matter where you stand on this, it’s a very important event in your toddler’s maturation process which you are going to face at some point, so you might as well get it over with. So where do you buy, and how do you start training? Here is a simple guide to help you get on your way, as well as some of the most popular potty chairs and seats on the market. Let’s hop to it.
Top 5 Models
Dreambaby Soft Potty Seat
BABYBJORN Potty Chair
Summer Infant Lil’ Loo Potty
Sesame Street Elmo Adventure Potty Chair
Fisher-Price Potty Training
When Should You Start Training?
There are three tell tale signs that your tike is ready for the big leagues. The first sign seems fairly obvious, they have started walking on their own and can communicate properly. Although it seems simple, you would be amazed at just how few children are able to convey their feelings properly, and many adolescents become frustrated and confused at the entire process. Proper communication is key so that the training can be a team effort, and not a one mommy circus.
Another sign that your child is ready, is once they’ve reached in the vicinity of two years of age. While some parents may choose to start training earlier, or a little later(in some cases waiting entirely too long), this is generally accepted as the best time to attempt training because of their solid food diet and ability to walk and produce proper bowel movements.
Finally, a great sign it is time to train, is when diaper changes become fewer and less sporadic. This shows that your little one is gaining the ability to control when they have to go a bit more, and they will be able to feel sensations which indicate to them that it is time to go.
Potty Chair, Versus Potty Seat
So now you know it is time to start the training process, and you are committed to doing so. Where do you start? Let’s begin with the equipment, and your weapon of choice will be either a free standing potty chair, or a toilet seat attachment. Both have advantages and disadvantages, so in the end it comes down to preference and life style.
Chair: One of the most obvious benefits with using a mini potty chair, is that it is portable and versatile. While not necessarily the best option simply because of this, this is massively appealing because of the frequency and the spontaneous nature of bathroom breaks. Another massive benefit is that its miniature size is more relatable to your child, giving them ownership, and a comfortable place to go without fear of falling in. On the downside however, potty seats can be a bit cumbersome due to the fact they are made out of hard plastic and not compact. Also, while a huge upgrade over diapers, they still are messy because you will need to wash out the bowl after each use.
Toilet Seat: A preference to many over the chair, toilet seats are much cleaner because everything goes right into the flush bowl with no transfer needed. Also, although a toilet in the vicinity is a prerequisite to using these, they are much more portable and you can take these with you on trips as long as you have a bathroom nearby. On the downside however, although children might feel more like a grownup for using a real toilet, the small seats can be loose so the fear of falling into the toilet will be present in your young one’s mind.
Features to Look For
If at this point you’ve decided on the type of toiletry equipment you would like to use, you must now do a bit of shopping to narrow down what features appeal to you the most. For such a simple device, these things can be quite complex.
Chair: These can be a bit ridiculous and exuberant I must freely admit, but if you can build up your child’s excitement to using the toilet, they will be more inclined to use it often. Some eccentric features include toilet paper holders, compartments for storing toys and “reading material”, and cute designs. Other features such as a pull out compartment for easy disposal, serve a more practical purpose and make the clean up process easier.
Seat: Any seat which help’s hide weak points in the design are a great plus when dealing with seats. For instance, dials or suctions which keep the seat held still will make toilet time easier to stomach for scared little ones. Foot rests give additional comfort so their feet don’t dangle, and a splash guard for young boys who have yet to learn how to aim their stream.
How to Train Properly
So now that you are absolutely sure that you and your toddler are ready to train, and you’ve settled on either a seat or a chair, now comes the hard part. Here are a few tips to follow in order to make this process as easy on you and your toddler in training.
Positive Reinforcement: An old rule developed by behavior psychologists, in order to teach properly you should always positively reinforce good behavior and ignore bad behavior. This can be hard to do when frustrations are running high, but letting your trainee know when they’ve made good on a trip to the bathroom will help relieve their anxiety. Even if they don’t make it all the way to the bathroom, the attempt is worth celebrating.
Forewarning: If a meal has just been eaten, chances are there is going to be a pit stop in the near future. Reminding your little one to be mindful of it will help them to focus on the sensation.
Be Prepared: Always be prepared for a potty break. If an urge is ignored because of a lack of utilities, the chances increase ever so slightly that it will happen again, since you are reinforcing bad behavior. Instead, be ready on a seconds whim to spring into action.
Let Them Experience Ownership: Part of teaching good habits and creating a good learning environment, is letting your little one take ownership of their deeds. After a successful trip to the toilet, let them flush the toilet. If they fail, let them help clean up. Even if they aren’t contributing much to the clean up process, they will begin to feel a responsibility to do things on their own, which will eventually lead to using toilet paper on their own, and much more benefits down the line.