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The Art of Potty Training
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Using the potty is another key milestone in your child’s life. Like most new skills, it requires a great deal of parental input, coaching and encouragement!
This is the perfect time for me to be writing a blog about this subject as I am just about to embark on another potty training adventure with my little girl. I’ve already been through it (relatively unscathed) with my son, but as that was a few years back I felt I need to fully arm myself with a plan and basically get my game face on!
Here are some tips for deploying a successful potty training campaign!
when to start
Like most things, don’t rush it, wait until your child is ready. There is a huge window of when the ideal time to potty train is. It could range anywhere from around 18 months to 3 years. Don’t worry if you haven’t potty trained by three as your child will be the guide as to the right time to start. If they are not ready, you will find it more difficult and experience more setbacks along the way.
Tip - If your child gets upset about using the potty, it may still be too early. Leave it for a while and try again in a few weeks.
watch for the signs
Look out for the signs that your child may be ready. These include knowing when they have a wet or dirty nappy and being able to communicate it. Are they showing more interest in the bathroom and what you are doing when you use the toilet? Can they pull their clothes up and down easily?
don’t sweat the setbacks
Even a fully potty trained child will have the odd accident. They may be distracted playing or excited about something happening around them. Don’t worry, just mop it up and move on! The last thing you want is for your child to feel worried or anxious in case they have an accident. Keep encouraging them and provide praise when they do well. They will get there!
Before you start, you may want to lay the foundations a bit and talk about the process with your child. Remember it’s not just about using the potty, you are also teaching them about how important it is to keep clean and wash their hands after they’ve been.
make the time
Try and pick a week when you don’t have too much going on. You’ll want to solely focus on potty training. Some people choose to start in the summer months as there are fewer clothes to take on and off and washed clothes can dry more quickly.
Make sure you have everything you need to start. Have a couple of potties around the house, so you have one upstairs and one downstairs. You are going to need quick access when the time comes! You may also want to invest in a travel potty to use when you are out and about. You may prefer a toilet training seat to a potty, but make sure you also have a step so your little one can reach the toilet seat.
Personally, I’m not a fan of training nappies. They act like a nappy and hold the wee away from your child, so they don’t feel wet. Wearing pants feels different so will indicate to your child that something is new.
Try and steer clear of giving treats as a reward for using the potty. They may start to expect a treat every time they go in the future! Give praise without overdoing it and if you feel you need to, then try a sticker chart to reward and encourage them.
During those first days and weeks you’ll want to be on it like you’ve never been before! Watch them like a hawk for any tell-tale signs they need to use the potty. Keep an eye on what your little one is drinking and remember to encourage them onto the potty at regular intervals to avoid accidents. Get them used to it and lay on the positive reinforcement with a trowel!
make it fun!
You’ll want to make sure that your child feels like they are embarking on an exciting new adventure with potty training. Don’t let them get a hint of the anxiety you probably feel when your little cherub has a little accident on the floor! Don’t get disheartened, keep smiling and carry on! Isn’t that what us parents do best after all!
There are lots of techniques and methods out there. It’s not always a one size fits all situation and what works for one child may not work for another. These are just some of the approaches you can take.
Now I feel like I’m fully armed with everything I need to potty train my little girl! Wish me luck!
join the conversation
Do you have any tips and advice for potty training parents? Join our conversation below!