Training your toddlers to use the toilet can be no easy task. Knowing when is the right time to start and having the knowledge of how to actually start the process can be daunting.
Every child is different and will go through this training process when they are ready. The majority of parents start thinking about potty training when their child reaches two to two and a half. But going at your child’s pace is thought to be key and not forcing them to use the potty or toilet. After all your child is learning how to use the toilet and this should not be experienced as a negative one but a positive experience that your child is developing skills.
Some parents start to train their child on a potty whilst some go straight to using toilets with special seats for your child to sit comfortably on it. Whilst your child will already be familiar with using the toilet, if you skip the potty stage, it can still be seen as daunting and some children may be scared by flushing. But you will have skipped this middle stage of training and your child can manage to use a toilet which makes it easier when out and about. Both have pros and cons to weigh up.
Getting ready for this training process and having a plan in mind can help, but is there a right way to ‘potty train’?
It is unrealistic to believe that you can train your little one on the first day with no problems and no accidents, especially if you are out and about. Using a potty with a disposable bag in it can help if you find yourself caught short whilst you are out. Teaching your child to hold on until they get to the toilet is difficult if the toilet is not in close proximity.
As each child is different so are its parents and their chosen method of toilet training. Views on this matter can be controversial, as some parents have been seen allowing their child to use the potty in pubs/restaurants whilst eating at the table. Surely if we are teaching our children to use the toilet should they not be trained to use the actual toilet or potty in a private area or the designated toilet facilities. The main aim in potty/ toilet training is for your child to be dry and to have confidence in learning this skill and consequently using the toilet.
Tips on how to potty train
1. Choose when to start.
Making your child familiar with toilet talk and waiting for them to show interest in it. Waiting for your window of readiness and to be consistent. Ensuring you as the parent are ready, your child will feel from you if you are unsettled and this may impact on your child and their behaviour.
2. Making your child feel involved
Approaching potty training with excitement can help to reinforce some control for your child. Involving your child in nappy/pull up changing can help them get used to knowing when their nappy is uncomfortable. Using colourful toilet seats and a potty can make it more interesting.
3. Observe routines
If your child has a regular time they poo then prepare for this by offering the toilet/potty. If using a toilet trainer seat then use a footstool as well. This helps your child to get in the correct position to poo on a toilet.
4 . Give praise and encouragement.
Every child likes to be praised and rewarded. This encourages their good behaviour and repetition of it. Rewarding your child with stickers, fun things they doing or a reward chart are useful ways to encourage their good behaviour.
5. Be consistent
As with any routine, consistency is essential. This way your child will learn quicker and understand exactly what they should be doing. Ensuring grandparents or anyone who your child spends time with without you is aware of the routine so they can make sure they carry out the same process.
If you have any helpful comments or experience please let us know!