Potty Training For Your Child
Updated: Apr 5, 2022
When my child turned 4 years old, I wanted to potty train my child. I was a first-time mother and wanted my child to be more independent.
My daughter was using 6-8 diapers a day, I wanted to reduce the cost of using the expensive diapers.
I prepared myself by reading books on how to potty train children and bought all the necessary items that were needed: potty doll, packet sweet drinks, fruits like watermelon, cloth training shorts/panties and a potty…I was ready to train my child!
Read on to find out my experiences in training my child:
Is my child really ready to be potty trained?
At 4 years old (Nursery 2), I felt my daughter was late in learning how to be potty trained. The books I read gave a guide for potty readiness at about 2-3 years old. However, age is only one of the indicators of being ready. Other indicators include:
Can pull down pants up and down
Shows interest in dressing herself
Wants to “do things herself”
Knows what a potty is and what it is for
Able to walk from room to room to get to potty
Sits on potty by herself
Can follow sequential directions such as “get the ball, throw the ball”
Shows interest in cleanliness or orderliness
Is in a positive phase, showing independence but not saying no to everything
Understands the difference between wet and dry
Indicates when diaper needs to be changed or tries to remove it herself
Recognises when she is having a bowel movement
Has a dry diaper for several hours for several days in a row
Diaper remains dry after a night’s sleep
Expresses interest in potty or underpants
Looking back, I can say that at 4 years old, she was not exhibiting readiness…at most only half of the indicators applied to her. Yet I was very keen to start training her and to get her to successfully have a go in the potty…all in 1 day!
Potty training is a process, not an event. Most books I read talked about the three stages of potty training – Telling, Showing and Trying. Successful potty training in 1 day meant that the child would be able to do “trying” (i.e to successfully go to the potty) stage in 1 day.
With the potty training doll, I “told” and “showed” my daughter what going to the potty is all about. I also used videos and let her watch what going to the potty meant. I was ready to let her go on to the “trying” stage.
I gave her plenty of juices, fruits and prepared her to go to the potty. I sat her on the potty and waited. It was a loooonnng wait. Yet she still did not go!
After a long time of waiting, I gave up and took her off the potty. 15 minutes later…the living room floor was wet…..
Needless to say, it was a frustrating time for me. Not to mention a back breaking task of cleaning up.
After that episode, I told myself that my daughter was not ready and stopped training her.
Childcare – a life saver!
It was my daughter’s childcare teacher who potty trained my daughter. The teachers at the childcare centre were so patient. With many years of experience, the teachers and educarers knew how to introduce toilet training to my daughter, one step at a time. As a first-time mother, I lacked the time, resources and skills to train my daughter.
Looking back, I am so grateful to my daughter’s childcare who was so nurturing with her, after I gave up…thinking she was not ready at that time. I realised that flexibility is important in potty training, the method of potty training should be adjusted for each child.
Observation of the child and close communication with parents are key. The teachers at the childcare centre monitor the children whenever they urinate or have a bowel movement. If the child develops a regular pattern of going to the bathroom and seems interested, or if the parents suggest that perhaps the child was ready to start thinking about the potty, the teacher will bring the child to visit the toilet at appropriate times of the day. With a strong sense of trust and security in their teachers, children were potty trained practically without knowing it. It just felt natural to them.
A teacher even gave me this tip for night-time dryness which I will share here. To train night-time dryness, get the child to practice going to the toilet before her daytime nap and sleep for the night. And it worked!
Nurture Infant House Tampines – partnering with parents for over 30 years
At Nurture Infant House Tampines, we believe that a good infant care right up to Kindergarten programme is built upon mutual trust and communication between the Centre and the parents.
Our teachers have a wide range of knowledge on principles of child development. Our teachers and educarers are experienced and have taught thousands of children in effectively carrying out their daily routines such as feeding, dressing and toileting. Check out the positive reviews from our parents.
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