(ARA) - As children continue to grow there are many new and exciting milestones they reach along the way. Just as every child is different, you will find the paths to milestone success will vary from child to child. One of the first major milestones a child hits is potty training. As this can be a frustrating process at times, here are some tips that may help make the process smooth, and perhaps even fun.
* Remember every child is unique
It's important to remember that no two kids train alike. Some children might be completely potty trained by age 2 while others might still be learning this new skill at age 4. Some might master going to the bathroom during the day, but still have trouble at night. Children learn at their own pace so it's important to remain positive and patient throughout the ups and downs of the potty training adventure.
* Be a supportive coach
When your child starts showing signs he or she is ready to be potty trained (staying dry for two hours or more, understanding the feeling of a full bladder, distaste for soiled diapers) remember the basics. Focus on the positive and stay upbeat. Your child looks up to you and loves praise - so get excited at successes and don't get upset when accidents happen. Also, a good coach sets a good example. Children love to imitate parents and siblings, so don't be afraid to show your child how you wash your hands in the sink and how older siblings use the toilet too.
* Create a nighttime routine
While it's true that potty training is a 24/7 activity, nighttime has some unique challenges parents should consider. Because your child will be sleeping for a long period of time, it's not uncommon for accidents to occur in bed, even for older children. Parents can make potty training a fun part of every evening with these three steps:
1. Be consistent
"Consistency is key in teaching toddlers new behaviors. The same holds true for potty training; fostering a nightly potty training routine helps toddlers learn consistency as their bodies grow to stay dry at night," says Dr. Heather Wittenberg, expert in child development. Lack of consistency can confuse children and may cause potty training stumbling blocks.
2. Find a routine that motivates
A nighttime routine isn't just about brushing teeth and going to the bathroom. It also can include fun and motivating rituals such as performing the new Bedtime Light Show with Pull-Ups Night*Time disposable training pants with new glow-in-the-dark designs. Simply charge the training pant by holding it under a bright light source for 30 to 60 seconds, help your child put them on and darken the room by turning off the light and shutting out additional light to help ensure the proper glow. The glowing designs are just bright enough to keep children motivated but soft enough to keep bedtime calm, something children will look forward to every night.
3. Tuck-in with love and reassurance
Once your child is in bed, it's time to tuck him in with a hug or kiss goodnight. Take a minute to talk about the day, emphasize the good efforts made toward potty training and encourage them to continue these habits. This reassurance will set the tone for success on your potty training journey.
If an accident does occur, don't make a big deal of it - it's common, especially at night, and your child will grow out of it. Remember, be supportive and positive, stay consistent and introduce motivating rituals to potty training.