(BPT) - Transitioning into underwear is a big deal for every toddler. However, while the end result is rewarding, the road to get there can be challenging for parents and kids alike.
Because no two experiences are the same, keeping it simple and laying the proper foundation are essential. Dr. Tanya Altmann, pediatrician, author and parenting expert, offers her best tips for parents embarking on the potty training journey with their little ones.
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.
Build excitement with underwear.
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. Because of this new journey, Dr. Altmann likes to call potty training, “underwear training.”
It's a big deal for children to transition to big-kid underwear, so parents can build excitement by celebrating this important accomplishment.
Make it fun and set aside a moment to mark the occasion. For example, put Pampers Easy Ups in your child’s dresser drawer, as if they're actually underwear, to help them get excited and 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. Dr. Altmann notes some of these signs include signaling to 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:
1: When they need to go.
2: How to get to the bathroom.
3: How to get themselves onto the potty chair.
These are essential in order to make underwear training a true victory. Sometimes your child will learn a bit later and that is OK. Give them the time they need to make it successful and easy for both of you.
Encourage using training pants.
Training pants are a fantastic way to ease into the underwear training process and the best next step after diapers in order to get children used to the feeling of underwear. Learn more about training pants at www.pampers.com.
"I recommend Pampers Easy Ups as they have the fit and feel of underwear while still giving children amazing leak protection for day and night," says Dr. Altmann.” Training pants also help reinforce the concept of pulling underwear on and off, which will make underwear training that much easier."
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.
Dr. Altmann encourages parents to allow children into the bathroom with them 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.
Be positive and make it fun.
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.