If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to drive you potty, it’s potty training.
I’ve already been through it once before, and now it’s time for take two. My youngest son is nearly three, so I need to get my head out of the clouds and get his bum on a toilet! Here are some top tips to help everything go smoothly when beginning potty training.
Pick The Right Potty
By getting your child involved in picking a potty, they’re more likely to be excited about the whole process. Our first time around, we picked a basic model emblazoned with a Disney character; this time I decided to go for a version with all the bells and whistles (a fake flush, a seat that lifts up and down, and a slot for wipes). Talk about attractive features! So far, it’s purely been used as a toy and for imaginative play, but shortly we’ll be giving it a test drive.
Timing Is Everything
When you notice they’re excited to try it for real, set aside a few days for a trial run. Signs that your child is ready include that they let you know they need to be changed, they show interest in wearing underwear instead of nappies, they’re able to pull their pants up and down themselves, and they can sit on the potty themselves.
Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre
Once you start the process, it’s useful to watch out for signals that your child needs to go to the toilet. All kids are different, but common signs include hopping up and down or hiding in their favourite spot. Alternatively, you could ask them if they’d like to sit on the potty every so often and they can see if they need to go. Immediately after a meal is a good time to try.
It’s a good idea to make sure your house is nice and warm during the first few days so you can dress them in minimal clothing on their bottom half. This will mean they can easily and quickly pull their underwear down to sit on the potty.
Points Mean Prizes
Encouragement is key and it’s a good idea to reward your child for trying their best. Stickers are a great way to make them feel proud without having to fill them with sweets.
After successfully going to the toilet, get your child to wash their hands with warm water and soap for about 20 seconds. A fun, child-friendly hand soap with a fruity fragrance will help keep things interesting.
Out And About
Once you’ve nailed things at home, the next challenge is how to manage when you’re out and about. If you haven’t already, let them try sitting on a real toilet. You don’t want them to be scared if the first time they have a go is while you’re in public bathrooms. Alternatively, if you’re visiting friends or family you may want to simply bring their potty with you; they’ll be happy sticking to their routine even if you’re not at home.
So, best of luck and let’s hope that muddy puddles are the only thing we see them jumping up and down in for the next few weeks.