Easy Potty Training

Child-centered potty training is an easy potty training approach for parents and children. It places your little one in control of how and when to potty train. Your LO decides when HE or SHE is ready to get rid of diapers. In a modern parent’s hectic world there’s often a certain amount of social pressure to potty train, particularly if you need to have day care.

Easy potty training techniques are best suited for older children and parents who don’t mind changing diapers for at least two and a half years. The main critics of child centered toilet learning claim that it can extend the training process even as long as 5 years because the child feels no real need to make a change.

Pros & Cons

PROs Of Easy Potty Training

  • It’s easy
  • The pressure is off parents to potty train early
  • Recommended by pediatricians
  • Gentle and not traumatic
  • Your child is really ready

CONs Of Easy Potty Training

  • The habit of using diapers can be difficult to dislodge
  • Issues with admittance into preschool
  • Issues with taking part in some activities
  • Cost of extended diaper use

There is a growing movement toward easy potty training for many reasons, not the least of which is the success rate. As the name implies, child centered toilet training focuses on the child and their readiness to take the next step in growing up. The concept came about because many children found other training methods too demanding and often traumatic.

Since the introduction of child centered easy potty training, a vast majority of pediatricians recommend it. While this means waiting for a child to master the various elements of toilet training at their own pace, it also provides the comfort of knowing your child is truly ready. From the child’s perspective the achievement becomes more personal rather than simply complying to a parental command.

How To Potty Train Easy

Every child is unique. It’s up to an observant parent to be aware of those unique temperaments and how they may affect the training process. Very active little darlings, for example, have trouble sitting still on the toilet so he or she might require a special potty toy that helps with the fidgets.

The 5 Step Potty Training Plan

1. Introduce potty training books and get your little one familiarized with the potty, for example they can sit on the potty fully dressed. Don’t let your little one associate going potty with punishment or imprisonment let them stay on the potty for as long or short as they want to.

2. Once your LO is comfortable with the potty suggest they try it for BM the way mom and dad do. If BM occurs in diaper, show your little one how to get rid of it it in the potty and say that is where he will be going potty soon, too. Clean the potty afterwards yours self – some children find flushing frightening.

3. Once your little one shows interest take them to the potty two to three times per day when you notice they need to go potty. Offer praise and encouragement for long periods of being dry.

4. When your little one craves more independence, allow him to go naked from the waist down with easy and fast access to a potty. Tell them “You can use the potty when you want to all by your self”. Offer occasional reminders but don’t put too much pressure on the child.

5. In case of resistance or a potty training accident put the diaper back on.

Easy Potty Training Facts

In a study of 1,170 children who started training with Brazelton's child-focused and un-regimented method around 18 months, it took 29 months to achieve daytime dryness. Dr. Spock advocated a similar approach in 1968, but it was not tested. He advises waiting until a child is ready, without being forced the process will be more relaxed and pleasant with fewer power struggles.

Let’s face it – while you might be ready to be “done” with diapers, that doesn’t mean your child has reached the same juncture in his or her development.

According to Dr. Sears: “You can lead a baby to the bathroom, but you can't make him go.” Martha Sears, R.N. says that there is nothing wrong with letting your child be in diapers until the age of three. Once a child becomes conscious of his bodily functions its much easier to direct them to the potty. Take your cues from your child. The key is for the parent not to be concerned and let their little one take the lead – with parental guidance.

When To Potty Train

When your child is ready.

According to Easy Potty Training, Dr Spock most children are ready for toilet learning between 2 and 2.5 years of age.

Now, this doesn’t mean leaving toilet learning wholly in the hands of your child, but rather making it a cooperative venture. Watch for signs that your child is truly ready for the next step. Examples that your child is ready for easy potty training include:

Play acting the toilet process

  • Showing obvious interest in a parent using the facilities,
  • Ability to follow simple directions
  • Being able to put on/take off pants
  • Overall eye-hand coordination

How to potty train as these signs appear? You can begin talking to the child about their interest. Simple questions like:

  • Would you like to use big boy pants instead of diapers? (show them the difference).
  • Do you want to sit on the potty like mom/dad?
  • Do you feel like you need to go potty?

While toilet learning mistakes may get frustrating, we as parents have to remember that this is not a puppy – it’s a person and the way you handle this point in their development affects your relationship and the child’s own sense of self-esteem. Rushing a child who is not ready often prolongs the process and creates a negative dynamic in the home.

Some parents choosing child-centered easy potty training have turned away from disposable diapers to cloth in an effort to help a child recognize their bodily functions. When they feel wet, it’s uncomfortable and increases the success of training when they discover the comfort of relieving themselves in the toilet followed by having dry clothing consistently.

No matter what approach you choose, knowing your child is so important to toilet learning. You want this to be a positive experience for everyone and with easy potty training – it’s easy.

Further Reading - Child-Centered Potty Training Book

There are many books about children developing the toileting skill to guide parents.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Toilet Training is an excellent resource for the Serene Parent interested in learning more about child-centered potty training.

How To Potty Train: 10+ potty training techniques. Is this not the right potty training style for you? Use our "What's your Parenting Style" guide to select the best way to potty train for you.

Leave a comment or share your story about kids potty training.

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