7 Frequently Asked Questions About Potty Training and their Solutions
If you have a young child at home, you might have some potty training questions in your mind. In this Baby Care Weekly article, we’ll talk about some of the most frequently asked questions about potty training. These pointers are useful for new moms and first time parents who are struggling with potty training or are thinking of getting started.
“How do I know my child is ready to be potty trained?”
There is no one perfect age to start potty training your child and this will depend on several factors. Some parents start training their children when they reach 2 and a half years to 3 years old because children generally have better daytime bladder control at this age. This will also depend on whether your child shows interest in being trained.
The following is a list of physical, behavioral and cognitive signs you can check to see if your child is ready to be potty trained:
- Has proper physical coordination (can walk, run and stand)
- Does not urinate for at least 2 hours during naps; this can indicate that his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine
- Moves his bowels in relatively predictable times
- Urinates a fair amount at one time
- Dislikes wearing a soiled diaper
- Gives physical or verbal cues when having a bowel movement like grunting and squatting
- Informs you before he is about to go and may try to hold it in
- Shows signs of being cooperative
- Shows curiosity in the toilet habits of other people
- Can sit in place for at least two to five minutes
- Is able to pull down and pull up his pants
- Understands the physical cues he experiences
- Understands the importance of putting things in the right place
- Understands and uses words for urine and stool
“Why won’t my child sit on the potty?”
Even if your child displays physical, behavioral and cognitive signs that he is ready to start potty training, he might still hesitate to sit on the toilet. There are several possible reasons for this.
Some children refuse to sit on the potty because they might be scared to fall off or they do not understand how the toilet works so they are scared of it. If this is the case, it might help to get a child-sized potty to help with the training or an adapter seat you can attach to the adult-sized toilet at home. This will help your child become more familiar to the ways of using the toilet and how the toilet works.
The important thing is you need to be as encouraging and understanding of your child. Listen to his concerns and help him overcome them.
“Why did my child have an accident even though he just used the potty?”
Keep in mind that children can’t control their bladders as well as adults and they might not be as good at telling if their bladder is completely empty or not. Accidents that happen in the middle of potty training are a normal part of the learning process, your child is still adjusting to life without diapers after all. Continue being supportive and constantly encourage your child’s progress. Don’t make a big fuss over setbacks.
“Why does my child suffer pain when urinating?”
If your child constantly complains of pain when urinating, he might have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Don’t worry, UTIs are common and treatable. Kids under potty training are prone to getting a UTI because they get tempted to hold off peeing and this causes bacteria to stay in the urinary tract longer and result in an infection.
Check if your child suffers symptoms of UTI like:
- Pain or a burning sensation when urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Hazy colored urine
- Foul smelling urine
- Malaise or general feeling of discomfort
- Pain the lower back or pelvis
Constant need to urinate but urinating very little at a time
“Why is my child wetting his pants again even though we just finished potty training him?”
Accidents during potty training are expected but what if your child has an accident after you have successfully potty trained him? Regressions are fairly common and they could be triggered by changes taking place that your child is unable to process.
Is your child going through an unfamiliar situation like going to a new school or having a new sibling? Keep in mind that children aren’t as articulate at communicating their anxieties or fears and may regress to previous behavior as a result.
Talk to your child about any concerns she might have and do not deal with the regression with punishment. After identifying the cause, revisit the potty training process and provide lots of positive reinforcement.
“How do I keep my child interested in potty training?”
It can be tricky to keep a child focused in potty training unless they really are really interested. This is where creativity and extra patience will come in handy. Consider setting up a fun rewards system to motivate your child and reinforce positive behavior.
On the other hand, if your child shows disinterest and resistance, you might have to hold off training. Pressuring your child is counterproductive as this can only strain the relationship between you and make toilet training stressful for everyone.
Here’s a simple potty training chart you and your child can use to track progress and rewards:
“How to tell if we need to pause potty training?”
If you’ve been potty training for weeks but can’t see any notable progress and are starting to get frustrated, you might need to take a break. Potty training is a two-way process that requires both you and your child to be in a positive and cooperative state of mind. There is no use pressuring an unwilling child; this might only cause him to sabotage the training or harbor resentment.
You might need to pause the training if you notice any health symptoms like constipation or urinary tract infection that might be interfering with the training. Consult a doctor for help in address these possible health concerns first before proceeding.
Do you have any other potty training questions you’d like to ask? What potty training tips and stories would you like to share?