Top Tips for Potty Training your Little One
With the current situation of continued lockdown and the days being warmer, now is the ideal time to potty train your toddler. Most of us have more time at home and I find it is always nicer for you and your child to establish this over the summer months, as they will have less layers of clothing on!
As soon as your child hits the age of 2 years the topic of potty training always pops up. This can be quite daunting to many parents and something parents put off as there are so many questions. When should I start? Is my child ready? and how do I start?
From my experience I would start slowly, firstly by introducing the potty at bath time and make it part of their bath time routine. For example, get the child undressed and sit them on the potty (they don’t necessarily have to do anything this is just getting the child used to sitting on the potty), and then into the bath. If you do this as part of their bath time routine, it becomes normal, less scary or out of the norm when you potty train for real. You can start this bath time routine as early as 18 months.
When should I start?
There is no right or wrong answer to this as each child is unique and will be ready in their own time. The usual age is between 2-3 years, but I would advise starting closer to the age of 2 and a half onwards, as by this age, your little one has a better understanding of what is going on.
Signs your child is ready
- Taking the nappy off especially at naptime or bedtime
- Getting upset about having a nappy on
- Telling you their nappy is wet or dirty
How to start potty training
Now you have sat your child on the potty, and they are happy and comfortable sitting on one, I would start the potty-training process. The key is to be consistent. It will take up to 3 days for your child to get into the routine of using the potty.
It’s important to explain to your child what is happening – “no more nappies, we are now using the potty for our wees and poos”.
Put them on the potty every 10-15 minutes for the first couple of days until you both establish a routine.
Keep a potty-training log and write down over 3 days when your little one wees or poos. You will begin to see a pattern and will hopefully know when they might need to go, helping you get them prepared for the potty.
It is recommended to use pants instead of nappies or pull ups, as this may confuse the child during potty training.
- Take your child shopping to choose their own pants. This makes them feel special and excited and will encourage them to wear the pants when potty training.
- Use a teddy or doll to sit on the potty and act out what you want the child to do, this way they can visualise what is being asked of them and tend to copy.
- Reward with a sticker or a treat whenever they wee or poo on the potty. This is a great way to reassure little ones that they are correct and encourage them to continue using their potty.
- Avoid getting cross or distressed if you child has an accident and does not use the potty. Instead, remind them where they should have gone toilet, to remind them for next time.
Cheryl is a fully qualified Nursery Nurse, NNEB trained, Sleep Consultant, and a proud mum to her little girl. She has over 30 years of experience in childcare and now specialises in sleep training for your little ones. For any more advice on potty training or any other child related topics, visit her website and Instagram.