About Consistency in Potty Training

by Kathryn Hatter

Potty training a child requires ongoing effort to ensure that you teach her how and when to use the toilet. Because of the diligent effort involved, consistency is a common issue for parents and caregivers. If you don't maintain consistency in the potty training process, your toddler might experience setbacks and difficulties learning this skill.

Consistent Daily Routine

Before you can apply consistency to potty training, it’s helpful to have a set daily routine. This consistency will help regulate your child’s daily rhythms to make it easier to predict and anticipate her typical body schedule. Make sleeping, waking and eating routines and your child will probably begin to have a consistent elimination schedule that you can anticipate. The benefit – when you know your child needs to move her bowels every morning after breakfast, you can build this potty time into the daily schedule.

Moving From Diapers

Once it’s time to take the step of potty training, move away from diapers completely during the day to start the process. Don't switch back and forth between diapers and training pants after you begin training or you risk confusing your child. The University of Chicago Department of Pediatrics advises that daytime potty training should occur first. After a child stays dry most of the time during the day and shows an interest in staying dry during naps and nighttime, it’s time to work on nighttime potty training. Some kids might not by physiologically ready for this until age 4 or even as old as age 7, according to the University of Pittsburgh.

Big Kid Undergarments

You have some options for undergarments to use during potty training. By using disposable training pants, you can avoid messes from potty training accidents – simply remove the disposable training pants and discard them. Some parents opt for reusable training pants that need washing just like any undergarments. Whichever you choose, stay consistent to ensure that you don’t confuse your child. Switching back and forth between diapers and big-kid pants for convenience will likely be hard for a young child to understand. If you must run errands with your child while potty training, always take him to the potty right before you leave. Plan your outing for a time when you anticipate that your child won’t need the restroom, keep him in big-kid pants and be ready to find a public restroom if necessary.

Caregiver Consistency

If the potty training child spends time with alternative caregivers or at preschool, consistency takes on a new importance. Communicate with teachers or caregivers about your potty training routine to ensure everyone who helps her provides the same consistent care. Keep your child in the same big-kid pants regardless of where she is so your child feels secure about the potty training process.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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