Being able to bin the nappies for good is a milestone that every parent looks forward to. And likewise, for your child, being able to use the potty is a major achievement.It’s just getting there which is the hard part!
For many families, potty training is a stressful tug of war that often ends in tears and tantrums– and that’s just mum and dad.
However, we’re here to let you know that the potty training process doesn’t have to be a nightmare. The key is knowing exactly when your child is ready to make the switch. We’ve highlighted the most important signs here and if you recognise any of these it’s definitely time to strike.
Once you and the little one are ready to begin, there are some tips and pieces of valuable advice to take with you on the potty training journey:
- Ensure that your child is in good health and in a good mood when you begin potty training. If they are teething or recovering from a cold, they won’t be able to tackle learning a new life skill.
- If possible, start potty training in the spring or summer months when it’s warm enough for the little one to walk about with no nappy on.
Introducing the potty
- When it’s time, the first thing to do is introduce the potty subtly into your toddler’s life. Don’t draw attention to it at first, but keep it in the room, near to where your child is playing so they grow comfortable with its presence.
- If your child wants to touch or play with the potty, let them. It’s important that they get used to the way it looks and feels.
- Explain what’s happening. Toddlers are often a lot more intelligent than we give them credit for, so give them credit and explain what’s happening. Tell them that they are now a big boy/girl and this means learning to use the big person toilet.
- Use only positive words about potty training, but most importantly, feel genuinely excited about the prospect. Children are very intuitive and how you act reveals much more than what you actually say. If you are nervous or anxious, you’re little one will sense that and feel that they should be too.
- Children learn to control their bowels before their bladders, so if your child has regular bowel movements during the day, take the nappy off at that time and encourage them to use the potty instead.
- Be very motivational and praise your child when they use the potty. It might be a good idea to devise a reward system for potty training. However, try to avoid giving into bribery with sweets or toys, because, as you probably know by now, little boys and girls learn very quickly how to manipulate their parents to get what they want.
Reactions to accidents
- Don’t make a fuss if you your child has an accident. Don’t be discouraging or react in a negative way. If you have explained what the potty is for, he/she will already know that what they have done is wrong. Simply be more encouraging about using the potty.
- If the potty training is advancing and going well, it’s not uncommon for a child to go from being completely dry, to wetting themselves. Don’t panic about this – it’s not a backwards step. It’s part of the process, so just carry on with what you’re doing.
Top tip for you
- As previously mentioned, it’s vital to remain upbeat and encouraging throughout – even if you feel like the end is not in sight.
- It will happen sooner or later. Your child will one day be potty trained. Every little boy and girl is completely different. Don’t measure them against siblings, cousins or friend’s children. This is YOUR child’s unique experience. Treat it that way, and potty training will become much easier.