Potty training is a milestones that many parents dread. You may worry will it work, will they sit on the potty, will there be poo and wee all over the house. For those of you who had been following our potty training journey with our daughter will know that it wasn’t easy. After two failed attempts and succeeding on the third attempt I have seen it all. To help make your potty training journey that little bit easier, I’m sharing the technique we used to finally crack potty training.
Stay at home
The importance of staying at home is that it gives you and your child the time that they need to familiarise themselves with using the potty, without any outside distractions. It also gives you the opportunity to let them wander around the house half naked and not worry about having an accidents whilst you are out and about. I would recommend that you try to stay at home for two days, and then maybe venture out on the third day to the park or the local shops. Hopefully by the end of day three, you and your child will have the confidence to leave the house properly with the potty in hand.
Use plenty of positive praise and encouragement
After each wee and poo happened in the potty or toilet we provided our daughter with loads of praise, letting her know that she had done a good thing. She would get a high five, a whoop or a big well done. It’s really important that toddlers know that they have done something right, so that they keep on doing it, and this is especially true with it comes to potty training.
Steer clear of shouting or telling your child off if they have an accident
On the flip side of praise, steer clear of creating any negative connotations that your child may have if they have an accident. Accidents are bound to happen, and instead of freaking out or shouting, stay calm and explain that accidents will happen and that next time lets try to use the potty or toilet. Also do not make a song and dance about mess on the floor and having to clean it up.
Ask your child to use the potty or toilet regularly
At first I was asking my daughter every 10 minutes if she needed to use the potty. By the end of day one this question was pretty much ignored, and I sounded like a broken record. Instead I tried to make sure that she sat on the potty every 30 minutes to get used to using it, even if she didn’t need to go. I then increased this time to an hour. Hopefully as potty training progresses you will stop asking as fingers crossed they will just go on their own accord.
Have a reward chart or treats to hand
For the first week of potty training I made a reward chart for my daughter, and each time she used the potty successfully she placed a sticker under that day of the week. This is a great way for you to see how they are progressing as hopefully by the end of the week the number of stickers under each day is increasing. Treats may be seen as not the best way to encourage potty training, however as we had two failed previous attempts I was determined that our third attempt worked. So each time the potty was used our daughter had a little treat as well.
Let your child choose their potty and pants
We already had the My Carry Potty that my daughter loves, and I’ve read that a clever way to encourage potty training is to let your child take the responsibility in choosing their potty. As well as this let them choose their own pants, and these often have characters on them. I would say to my daughter “You don’t want to wee or poo on Peppa Pig” which I think seemed to work, as she would let me know that Peppa was dirty if she had an accident.
Make sure that all childcare providers are on board
If your child spends time during the week at nursery, with a childminder or with a nanny, then make sure that they are aware you are potty training. Explain to them exactly what you are doing and ask that they do the same things as well. For example if you are taking your child to the potty every 30 minutes, then make sure that they are doing the same. They will definitely be able to help and may offer some other techniques to help your child. You may also find that your child starts to copy what the other children are doing, and this in turn may help with your potty training.
Wait until YOU think the time is right
The average age for a girl to start potty training is 2.5 years old, and for a boy it is 3 years old. However this is only a guideline and shouldn’t be followed strictly. Only you will know when is the right time to start potty training their child, and it should be done when you both have time to do it. We started it a week after we moved house, I did worry that it wouldn’t work again because of that reason, but I think having more room made it lot easier. It may not be best to potty training if your child is ill, or if there is new baby on the scene.
Reassure your child that you have the potty with you
Lastly when you are out and about with your child, let them know that you have the potty with you. This will reassure them that they can go wherever you are, although getting the potty out in the middle of the street might be slightly embarrassing for you, but it’s all part of the parcel of potty training. If you have the potty with you, you’ll also feel reassured that hopefully there won’t be any accidents…..but even if there is, don’t worry about it. Just remember to take plenty of spare clothes with you especially in the early days.
So those are the techniques we used to crack potty training. I do now look on back on it and wonder if I over thought it a little and worried too much about it. If you are potty training your child, my best advice would be to go with the flow, and if it doesn’t work, stop and try again. Your child will get there and will definitely not be in nappies forever.