Toilet Training Tips!
It’s that time in your toddler’s life when toilet training is becoming a reality. While it’s something that you may have been dreading for some time now, it’s has to be done! If you’re slightly worried about where to even begin, we have rounded up some tips to give you peace of mind and make the whole process a little less well, challenging…
1. Make sure they’re ready
Often, parenting can feel like a race of sorts. There’s usually one friend or family member who likes to brag that their little Tommy was writing symphonies by the time they were 4… Let’s be realistic, every child is different. The pace at which they learn is varied. Signs that your toddler may be ready include:
Less nappy changes during the day
Toddler is more vocal about needing to go
Toddler becomes uncomfortable with their dirty nappies
2. Understand the task at hand
Toilet training can be a breeze, or it can be very difficult and frustrating. If you’re finding your child is not playing ball when it comes to potty training, try not to get angry with them. Instead, remember that this is an extremely challenging skill to learn and while it seems like second nature as an adult, your toddler is learning a whole new set of skills. They must learn to interpret the signals their bodies are sending them, learn to control their bowels and bladder, and remembering to wash their hands afterwards. That’s a lot of new information for a 2-4 year old!
3. Preparation is key
When you think it’s time to start potty training, purchase a potty. Leave the potty in a room your child spends a lot of time in (doesn’t have to be the bathroom), and introduce your child to it by explaining its function. Might seem a bit overboard, but remember this is a strange new concept. A potty is recommended by most experts as the toilet itself (even with a toddler friendly attachment) can be a bit daunting to a toddler.
4. Normalise potty usage
Keeping your language and attitude toward the potty casual, it’s important not to big it up as this can make it daunting to young children. Also ensure not to use negative language about what goes in the potty, as this may lead to them not wanting to use it. In the early stages, let your toddler sit on the toilet fully clothed just to get a sense of it.
Now that you have introduced the potty, whenever your child uses their nappy, place what is in the nappy into the potty so that your child sees how a potty is used. Another way to normalise usage is to allow your child to observe you using the toilet. Encouraging them with “soon you can use the toilet like mammy/daddy” can reassure them that this is a positive next step in their development.
5. Make things easy
Dress your toddler in clothes that he or she can easily remove in order to use the potty. A diaper free day is not the day to layer on clothes on the bottom half!
Let other caregivers such as grandparents, family members, and babysitters know that you are at the potty training stage so that they can help ease the situation if you are not around.
6. Give credit
Once potty usage has become normalised and your child is asking to use the potty or warning you they have to go, reinforce this behaviour with some praise. If you are sure they are confident in their potty usage give them a boost by having an underwear day. This shows that you are trusting them to use or tell you when they need to use the potty. There’s no guarantee that your child won’t make a mistake or forget they don’t have a nappy on, for that refer back to step 2!