As your baby grows up and becomes a toddler, it’s soon going to be time to start potty training them. This is a major milestone in your child’s life, but it can be very difficult to get them to comply and listen to what they have to do.
It can be hard to know what approach to use and how to go about starting with the potty training of your child. However, this article has you sorted! Keep reading to find out exactly how you should start with the potty training your toddler.
#1 Learn the Signs
So, the first step to potty training your child is to know when it is time to start teaching them is.
There is no ideal time or age that all children should start to use a potty. Every toddler is different, and some will reach the milestone much earlier than others.
The average age that toddlers will start to use a potty properly is at some age between 2 and 2.5 years.
To get it right for your toddler, you need to look out for any signs that might suggest they are ready to learn how to use a potty.
These signs could be them letting you know when they have a dirty nappy, them letting you know (or show clear signs like fidgeting) when they are about to pee or poop, or if they seem to be peeing and pooping a lot less often.
#2 Introduce Your Child to the Idea of Using a Potty
Using a potty is going to be a whole new experience for your toddler, so it is important to ease them into the process so as not to confuse or overwhelm them.
So, you could try explaining to them why they need to go to the toilet while changing their nappy. Furthermore, it is a very good idea to make sure you are always changing your child’s nappy in a bathroom, so can associate it as the place for peeing and pooping.
A few other little things you can do is get your child to flush the toilet once you’ve been to the toilet and have them wash their hands at the same time as you do. This will get them more familiar with the whole process and help them to understand what it is they need to do.
Also, explain to your toddler what a potty is. Explain what it’s for, show them what it looks like, how it should be used and make sure they are aware of where it is kept. They are never going to use something that they are unfamiliar with as it will seem more daunting and scarier.
#3 Keep the Potty in the Bathroom
Another important tip that will help make starting to potty train your child easier, is to make sure you keep the potty in the bathroom.
This will help make them associate the bathroom as the place they need to go when they need to pee or poop and will make the transition to a proper toilet later on much easier for them.
You should also try putting the potty next to the actual toilet, so they can see how the two are the same sort of thing. You will find in time they will probably start using the main toilet by themselves.
#4 Praise Them When They Use the Potty
It is essential to make sure you reward your child when they successfully use the potty. You could do this by making a gold star chart for them, so they get a attractive sticker every single time they use the potty, with a reward in store for them once they get a certain number of stars.
Positive reinforcement will help them to understand that using the potty is good behaviour and seeing that they get a reward will make them want to keep repeating that good behaviour again.
#5 Don’t Make a Fuss When They Have an Accident
Whilst it is good to praise your child when they successfully use the potty, it is important that you don’t scold or make a fuss when they don’t succeed or if they have an accident. This can make your toddler more anxious and scared about using the potty and is going to make the whole process a lot more difficult.
So, if they do have a bit of an accident, just clean it up and gently explain to them where they should try and do it next time.
#6 Encourage Them to Sit on the Potty After Meals
Naturally, your toddler is going to need the toilet after having a meal. So, a good way to help start the potty-training process is to encourage your child to sit on their potty after eating. Whilst it is good to always have them use potty in the toilet, in the early stages of potty training your toddler, when you are trying to get them to understand how the potty should be used, it is okay to have them use it in front of the tv, for example. This means they can sit there for as long as it takes them to need the toilet. It helps them to not feel any pressure to use the potty and will make them feel more relaxed about the whole process.
#7 Don’t Push It
It’s very important that you don’t try and force your child into using their potty, as this can overwhelm them and make them very stressed about actually using it.
So, try to introduce them to it slowly and if they don’t seem responsive or have an accident, then just leave it a few days or weeks and then try again. They will learn eventually; you just need to allow them to learn in their own time.
#8 Potty Train Them in the Day First
Daytime and potty training during night-times are two whole different ordeals.
You should focus on potty training them during the day first and keep them wearing nappies during the night-time.
When your child starts waking up with a dry nappy is when you can then start thinking about night-time potty training.
#9 Potty Training Pants
You should have your toddler wearing disposable potty-training pants, so they are similar to normal underwear, but are still absorbent like nappies.
They make it easier for children to be aware of when they had an accident, and so you can encourage your kids to do it on the potty next time.
#10 Use a Child’s Trainer Seat and Step
When it is time for your child to use the main toilet instead of their potty, it is a good idea to attach a child’s trainer seat to it. This will help to make the gap in the toilet a bit smaller so they can feel safer using it.
You should also put a little step in the bathroom that they can use not only so they can reach the sink to wash their hands, but also for them to rest their feet on whilst sitting on the toilet.