Potty training can be a daunting task especially if it is your first child. It can also be very stressful for you and your child but if you try to make it fun, it will be a lot easier. Accidents will happen while your child is learning, even my child pooed on the carpet to avoid pooing in the toilet! It might sound funny right now but cleaning the mess was horrible! I have put together few tips and tricks on how to potty train a child and hopefully it should work for you as well! Before I give you the tips you need to first know if your child is ready for potty training .
How do you know if your child is ready for potty training?
- Is your child between the ages of 18 months and 3 years ? Some children are ready by the time they are 18 months others won’t be ready till they are 3 years of age.
- Have they got dryer nappies between nappy changes. This shows bladder control.
- Is there any pattern of them wetting their nappies? What is the time interval? It has to be at least 1 hour or it will be very difficult for you.
- Does your child tell you before/after they have done a wee or poo ?
- Does a wet nappy make them uncomfortable?
- Do they look for a quiet place or a corner just before they poo(in their nappies)?
- Are they ready to sit on the potty or on the toilet using a child training seat(child toilet seat)?
If you have answered yes to any of the questions above, then you can at least try potty training them. Before you start, you would require a few potty training items:
- A potty or a child trainer seat with a foot stool
- Few books to read to the child
- Cheap knickers or pants
Now you are ready to start the potty training so here are a few tips and tricks which might help you:
Keep your child involved
It is a good idea to keep your child involved in the whole process. Before you start maybe you can read them children’s books on potty training to make them mentally prepared for it. For example Princess Polly’s potty(for girls) or Pirate Pete’s potty(for boys).
You can take your child with you when go to buy the potty or child trainer seat. Maybe ask them to choose which colour they would like.
No Pull Ups
I wouldn’t recommend pull ups as the child will never learn to wee or poo in the toilet or in the potty. If you think about it, a pull up is similar to a nappy. It is better to get some cheap pants which you can throw in case of an accident!
Don’t get frustrated with accidents
Doing wee and poo in a potty or a toilet is a big mind shift for a child and is a part of their mental and physical development. It depends from child to child how quickly they get trained. In case, you feel there are too many accidents happening, don’t show your frustration to the child. Just put on nappies for few weeks and then try again. It is possible that your child is not ready for potty training.
Choose a convenient time
Always start potty training at a convenient time that is when the child has holiday in the nursery or pre school and you have got time off work. Preferably do it in the summer so that the child won’t feel cold while sitting on the potty and also if there are accidents the clothes will get dried quickly.
During and after potty training make sure
your child wears comfortable bottoms like tracksuits which can easily be pulled down. You do not want your child wetting himself just because he couldn’t open the trouser button.
Don’t tell your child off for any accidents
Potty training is a very sensitive time for a child. The child’s confidence will go down every time he/she has an accident. So if you tell them off it will break their confidence. In case of an accident just hug them and reassure them that it’s ok and that you have to keep trying.
Praise the child every step of the way
Whenever your child successfully wee’s or poo’s in the potty or toilet make sure you praise them a lot. It boosts their confidence big time.
Potty or Child Trainer’s Seat?
This will be a big question in every parent’s mind, before they start potty training. My health advisor advised me to potty train both kids directly on the toilet by using a child trainer seat (also know as child toilet seat) that clips on to the seat of the toilet. This makes the toilet look more secure for the child.
If you use a potty then once the potty training is established, you would still need to train the child on a toilet(using the child trainer seat). So instead of doing potty training in 2 steps (that is potty training on the potty first and then training them to sit on the toilet), you can directly put them on the toilet. But it is imperative to use a small stool if you are using the toilet seat so that the child can step on the stool and reach for the toilet. Without the stool, the toilet will be too high for the child.
If Nothing Works
If you have tried potty training your child unsuccessfully and your child is nearly 3 years of age, the last resort would be to keep your child without any nappies or pants or trousers/tracksuit when you are at home so that they will feel the sensations more easily. But try this method as a last resort and only if your child is nearly 3 or 3 years. Make sure you keep a plastic sheet on the floor or keep your child on a laminated or a tiled floor. Again, try this in the summer or your child might catch a cold.
Night Time Training
Always first focus on getting the day time training right. Once that has been established, monitor the night time nappy – how heavy is it? Depending on the child, the night time nappy would start getting lighter in few weeks or months after the day time training has been established. If that happens, you can start putting on pants on the child at nighttime. However, take a couple of precautions:
- Make the child go for a wee last thing before going to bed.
- Put a waterproof sheet/cover on the child’s mattress.
In case, you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me by putting your comments in the comment box below.