Potty training can feel like an impossible task but it really is inevitable. A lot of parents/carers dread the toilet training stage and it can feel very overwhelming and wow don't other people just love to comment? Which just adds to the stress. Hopefully using some of the tactics below will help it be a smoother experience for everyone.
1. Wait Until Your Child Is Ready
The most important question to ask is: is your child ready? We can become so fixated on milestones and when your child should be hitting them but every child is wonderfully different. There are usually some tell tale signs:
- Is your child telling you when they have filled their nappy.? Are they uncomfortable and wanting it to be changed?
- If you have a potty are they interested in sitting on it and understanding what it is for?
- Is there understanding and communication there? Do you feel they could tell you when they need to use the toilet? Do they understand the concept?
- Do they fidget or take themselves somewhere quiet or hidden to go?
- Is there a gap of at least an hour between their wees?
2.Try Not To Pressure And Get Into A Routine
In the beginning they don’t know when they need to go so getting into a routine for example when they get up and after meal times is when you can sit on the potty/toilet your child will get used to this and will just go and sit on it as it is part of their everyday routine. This makes your child feel like it is there choice. Having a potty somewhere they see also helps to remind them. They may have a few accidents just mop it up and continue on. The more you want your child to do something and they feel pressured the less they will comply. Make your child feel like it is their idea. Yes they may need the toilet but the more you try and make them the less they will want to go next time. Let them feel in control. Lead by example be open about when you go to the toilet and then suggest they try.
3. Be Prepared
Make sure you have enough pants. This is also a great way to excite your child, taking them with you to pick out their big girl/boy pants can really help encourage and make them excited about potty training. Also consider what clothes you are putting your child in to ensure they are easy to get off quickly if need be. If you are potty training in the warmer months don’t worry about putting on clothes just pop them in their pants and let them carry on. If you can be in the garden even better.
4. Be Positive And Reward
The more positive you are the more your child is going to want to engage. If they have an accident, don't make a big deal out of it. This can make your child feel anxious and embarrassed if you just mop it up and encourage them to not worry and try again; they are much more likely to succeed next time. When they do go on the potty or toilet make sure you really reward them. You might want to consider a sticker reward chart or some other treat. Putting the time on the chart when they have been is a great way to help guide you to when they need it and then you can have a rough idea of how often they go and the rough gap between.
5.Consider Encouraging The Toilet
Some children are happy to go straight on the toilet if they are great. You can buy child seats to go on the toilet and steps to allow your child to feel safe when on the toilet. If your child would rather use a potty at first that is absolutely fine. Make sure you tip the potty contents into the toilet and let your child watch. Understanding where it goes is a very important step and will encourage them to use the toilet in time.
If you and your child are ready you have to be prepared to fully commit. Consider staying in for a day or two or staying in your local area. If you do wish to go further afield that is fine but ensure they are still in there pants and bring your potty or toilet seat adaptor with you. You can get great travel versions now that fold up small making it even easier. Also consider getting a car seat cover or using a puppy training sheet for them to sit on when they are in the car in case they do have an accident as remember that is how they learn. It can be very confusing for your child if one day they are in pants and the next back in a nappy and can cause setbacks.
I hope you have found some useful tidbits here! Good luck with your toilet training journey!
Have a great day.