Transitioning into underwear is a big deal for every toddler. However, while the end result is rewarding, the road to underwear training your child can be challenging for parents and kids alike. Here are a few tips to follow as you begin the journey.
Patience is key
Potty training is a developmental milestone and should never be rushed with any child. It is usually somewhere between two to three years of age when a toddler is ready to begin.
The journey to potty training is two-fold. First your child has to get used to the potty and then get used to no longer wearing diapers and wearing underwear. Therefore, many may call the transition ‘underwear training.’
It’s a big deal for children to transition to big-kid underwear, so parents should build excitement to celebrate this important accomplishment. For example, shop together for training underpants and fun underwear and place them in your child’s dresser drawer. This will help make the connection that they’re graduating from diapers.
Look for signs
You will typically start to notice cues that your child is ready for underwear training. Some of these signs include signaling you before they go in their diaper, interest in what goes on in the bathroom, the desire to start using the potty, the ability to pull underwear off and on and the desire to wear big kid underwear.
Know the underwear 123s
When underwear training, little ones need to be able to know a few things to ensure success: when they need to go, how to get to the bathroom and how to get themselves onto the potty chair. Sometimes your child will learn a bit later than their peers, that is OK.
Lead by example
As a parent, you are the best role model for your child. Modeling good bathroom habits and giving examples can help speed up success.
Allow children into the bathroom with you so they can see how easy it is. It is also important for parents to teach their children to wash their hands immediately after so that good hygiene practices are instilled from an early age.
Always remember that positive reinforcement is key with children and never discipline them for not going. Small immediate rewards are the best way to make underwear training a breeze.
Try creating a fun little dance that you do right after they successfully go, or find other creative ways to reward them, like stickers or hand stamps. It is important to make children feel rewarded for accomplishing this major milestone.
Looking for a perspective from a real mom who has been through potty training hell? Hear about it here.