Potty Training is one of those stages in a childs development which can be easy peasy or really quite frustrating! Unlike walking and talking which can be a great source of competition between parents, potty training is one of those things not often discussed openly.
Here's where we come in - luckily there are many ways which parents can facilitate and help children to become potty trained quickly and stress free for them and their child and most of it is actually easily achieved using a common sense approach.
When to Start Potty Training
Photo courtesy of @maiacha_
Most parents choose to start potty training when their child is aged between 2 - 2.5 years old but it's not one of those things you can or should force a child to do. We could go into the depths of psychological behaviour therapy but that's probably one for another blog (or two!). Instead read our tips below to see how you can make it all go smoothly.
Potty Training Top Tips
Photo courtesy of @little.moustache
1. Make sure your child is ready - Don't rush it and start doing it before you child is ready and can understand what is asked of them - this will lead to failure and it probably becoming a bit of an ordeal. The signs that your child is ready is if they can identify when they are wet or had a bowel movement and they are able to keep their nappy clean for more than a few hours at a time.
2. Children will naturally shadow parents behaviour- Ever had that shocking moment where your child repeats something they shouldn't because it's something you have said or done in front of them? It is natural for a child to use their parents as role models and repeat and mimic their actions. If a child witnesses you going to the toilet and thinks that's normal they will no doubt want to mimic what you are doing. Try not to be too prudish about it and let them see what you are doing. Every-time you go to the toilet you can put them on the potty at the same time.
3. Start potty training with a regular routine - Don't start to potty train if you are due to move house or don't have a regular house hold routine in place. A child needs to feel secure and comfortable in their surroundings to do this successfully and not have any worry about it.
4. Use Positive Reinforcement (not negative) - Praise your child when they go to the toilet where they should and make it all into a positive experience. DO NOT use negative reinforcement and scold them if they have an accident - you will make it a very stressful experience all round by doing that. It's ok to be firm and ask your child to tell you when they need the toilet but make sure you praise them when they have done it right.
5. Do regular toilet breaks - If you take your child to the toilet regularly then they are much less likely to have an accident. Make sure it's the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do before night to avoid night time accidents. When you go to the loo take your child with you and sit them on the potty.
6. Have toilet breaks after mealtimes - Food will often lead to children wanting a bowel movement so don't leave it too long after a meal to go to the toilet.
7. Use clothes that are easy to remove - The quicker clothes are to remove to go to the toilet the less likely it is they will have an accident. Avoid tights, lots buttons or zips to make this easier.
8. Use training pants - Training pants can be a good intermediate step between nappies and grown up pants! They don't hold as much water so it's easier for children to feel when they are wet and gets them used to the feeling of wearing pants.
9. Put a potty next to the bed - Make sure your child has a potty next to the bed at night to avoid night time accidents. Children often have night time fears and may not want to go to the bathroom if it's dark and quiet and will feel a lot more settled doing it in their room. Make sure you praise them if they have used it overnight.
10. Use a step and seat trainer - Make sure when your child starts to use the toilet instead of the potty (which they may want to do if mimicking you) they can get onto it easily by giving them a step. You can also get seat trainers which have handles and are softer which might make the experience easier for them too.
We hope our article is helpful and your little one gets the hang of it easily. If you want even more tips on potty training then Pampers have a great article here.
Have you any potty training tips of your own? If so we would love to hear from you - please feel free to leave a comment below.