How to Teach Bladder Control While Potty Training
Bladder control is difficult to master, so you must expect some accidents while potty training. Children must learn to recognize the sensations that warn them that they need to use the potty, and then they must get to the potty, out of their clothing and into a seated position before their body starts expelling waste. Allowing your child to run naked or in light clothing that is easy to remove is a big start, but there are other things you can do to help your little one control their bladder to eliminate accidents.
Mark a few days or one week off your calendar and plan to spend that time focusing on your child. Your goal during this initial training phase is to help your child begin to understand the concept of bladder control. Since your child has your complete attention without any distractions during this period of time, they will feel excited and eager to please you.
Allow your child to take some control of the process, since it is their body. Talk about how they may feel before they have to go potty and ask them to notify you when they think they may need to go. If they have an accident, talk about what they may have felt before going and how they can avoid that happening again. This is done calmly. Expect accidents to happen as your child develops greater bladder control.
Structured Potty Times
In addition to getting your child to the potty fast when they announce they need to go, there should be some structure so your child knows when to expect a potty break. For instance, you want to take potty breaks at the following times:
- Before naptime
- Before or after mealtimes
- Before bedtime
You may start out taking structured potty breaks every half hour or so, but eventually your child will maintain enough control of there bladder that they can go a couple hours between potty sessions. Just make sure you are consistent with the potty breaks so your child expects them. You can use a timer so your child is actively involved in timing the sessions.
Make sure your child is drinking a lot of fluids between potty sessions. They will need to urinate more frequently if they are well hydrated. The more opportunities they have to control their bladder, the faster they will matter this skill.
Turn Potty Training into Bonding Opportunities
Potty training is more enjoyable for everyone if you focus more on spending time with your child and less on the accidents and messes. You must sit with your child while they are taking potty breaks, so why not sing songs, read books and talk about your day?
You can encourage your child to potty by turning on running water or reading books that make them want to imitate the characters. Do the happy dance and show how proud you are when progress is made. When they can’t go, let them know that is okay and remind them to let you know if they feel the urge after you leave the bathroom.
What If Your Child Resists?
If you try to potty train your child with great consistency for two weeks or more and they are resistant, they are probably not ready to train yet. There is no set age that they must potty train. Respect your child and limit the damage by putting potty training off for another month or so. Your child may start to feel the urges naturally when the pressure is off them to do so.
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