Potty Training is a word most new mothers dread and look forward to at the same time. It is a challenging task which requires patience, perseverance and well, ability to clean a lot of mess with a smile. But at the end of the day, there is a beacon of hope which is a diaper-free house.
So to help all the new mothers along this treacherous journey I decided to do a three-part series on How to do Potty Training . We will start with the baby steps i.e. Potty Training a Baby which will be followed by Potty Training an Infant and Potty Training a Toddler.
At the onset, I would like to clear that you can’t train a baby to go potty. These are the most basic instincts of our body (call of nature) as they are called, but yes, you can understand the cues of a child and when he/she is ready, help them to achieve this milestone.
POTTY TRAINING A BABY
A baby here means someone who has completed the first six months of their life. In the first year of their life the babies hardly have any control over Bladder and Bowel movements and you cannot expect them to hold in before at least they are a Year old. However, you can do the following to start the process of toilet training :
1) Learn to read your baby’s cues– Although babies can’t control their bodily movements they certainly are aware of them. Even a four month old baby will show cues in his body language before passing a bowel movement. Grimaced face, stretching of legs, making grunts etc. can all be signs of an impending poop or pee. Read these cues and react to them.
2) Timing is everything – If your baby poops the first thing in the morning or if it is done leisurely after the afternoon nap, you need to be aware of your baby’s body clock. Babies are creatures of habit, they thrive on routines. So develop a toilet- routine for them.
3) Create your own cues– Once you learn to understand your baby’s subtle signals you have to develop your own cues to establish potty training. At the time that your baby generally favours or when she exhibits the urge to go potty, open the diaper (disposable or otherwise) without taking it off. Wait till the baby goes about his business. Repeat this process for three days and on the fourth day add a verbal cue from your side like a Shusshhh or a cheeeessssh sound. Every time you feel that the baby has an urge to go, repeat this process. Soon the baby will associate these verbal cues with potty.
4) Establish a routine– After you have done the above method for a few weeks you can try to change the time of your baby’s bowel movements if you so like. When the baby wakes up after their morning feed just open their diaper and make the verbal cues, the baby will respond with a bowel movement. For bladder movements just hold them over the pot or the bathroom sink and make the cue sounds, do this every two hours because babies’ bladders are small and can’t hold much urine.
5) Beware of overdoing – In no case should you pressurize, scold or hurry the baby to go potty because you will just create an unjustified demand on your baby. If you want the journey towards a nappy free home to be smooth do not make this an unpleasant part of the day for the baby. You don’t want to turn this into a battle of nerves so let the baby develop on his/her own pace.
Don’t forget , there will be accidents and mishaps along the way but you need to encourage your baby and also keep your wits about you to achieve this routine. Stressing over something like Potty training is not what you or your baby needs. These baby months are the most important ones to create an intimate bond between you and your baby because once the baby is mobile i.e. crawling and walking you will have other things to worry about.
These are some tips on how to potty train a baby from my own experience with my daughter. Stay tuned for the next part of the series i.e Potty Training an Infant.
Do let me know through your comments what method or approach you have/had taken to potty train your kids. If you liked this article don’t forget to like our page on Facebook or Friend us through Google Connect in the right sidebar for regular access to all the articles.