As you probably already know, children are energetic and oftentimes strong-willed human beings who have an agenda of their own! Getting a child to sit on the toilet long enough for them to relax their body enough to go pee or poop is not always an easy task to accomplish!
That being said, there is also a maximum amount of time that a child should be sitting on the potty when trying to go to the bathroom in order to have a healthy and efficient pee or poop. For pee a child shouldn’t be on the toilet for longer than 2 minutes. For poop, a child shouldn’t be on the potty for any longer than 7 minutes. This will ensure that they learn how to sit, relax, and go to the toilet in a healthy manner so that their bodies grow accustomed to this routine.
Potty training doesn’t have to be stressful! It can be (dare I say) FUN and a chance for you to bond with your child! It will take up a little extra time out of your day, but it will be a great learning experience for you and your child and you will be able to look back on it fondly instead of feeling traumatized! Getting your child to sit on the toilet may seem like a daunting task, but I have gathered a list together of helpful tricks to achieve this goal!
Here are a few helpful tips to help your child independently stay on the potty long enough to go pee/poop:
Tip 1: Bring FUN to the toilet! Children often don’t like the bathroom because it isn’t fun. Well, we can change that! Save special toys that you know your child loves JUST for toilet time, this will help them to look forward to going to the potty instead of dreading missing out on playtime.
Tip 2: Sit on the potty backward! Sitting backward on the toilet makes it more difficult for your child to jump off and run away! You can even put a dry erase board or a chalkboard behind the potty for them to draw on while they sit so that they can be happily distracted long enough to relax their bladder.
Tip 3: Successful distraction. Things like singing songs, reading books, looking at photos or videos on your phone, or even blowing bubbles together! Anything that gets your child intrigued, distracted, and helps them to sit on the toilet long enough to go potty!
Tip 4: Set a timer. You can set a timer (Alexa, egg timer, or a mini hourglass) to let your kiddo know they need to sit for at least as long as the timer is on, which should only be a few minutes. When they hear the alarm sound or the timer go off, then they can get up and resume playtime!
These fun tricks will help your child not only sit on the potty but look forward to going to the bathroom when their body is telling them that it is time to GO! Children are so used to unconsciously releasing their urine or bowel movements into their diapers that the thought of going to a bathroom and intentionally sitting down to go potty is a new and foreign concept to them.
Learning a new skill takes time! Have patience with your child and also with yourself during this new learning process. This is a BIG change for both you and your child! You’ve got this!