Of all the milestones your child will reach, potty training will be one of the messiest. But it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a few tips and tricks to potty train your toddler like a pro.
Make it easy for your kids
If you’re lucky potty training will be a breeze but we expect a few stumbles along the way. Make sure your kids have the most convenient bed and can get up with little fuss as this means they can reach the bathroom quickly and avoid accidents. When they are using the toilet by themselves it can help to have practical kids furniture nearby like a step stool to avoid issues reaching the toilet. Enabling your kids to use the toilet by themselves easily will increase their confidence and make them more likely to try again.
Take it seriously
Carolyn Webster, from the Baby Product Guru, explains why having too much fun while potty training won’t work.
“One of the advice I give to first time parents is make sure their potty is not a toy! Once the child is running around with potty on their head - you have lost them!”
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Have a naked afternoon
Set aside some time in the day for your child to free themselves by being either fully naked or just bottomless. Having no diapers, pull ups or underwear on gets your child to consciously consider where to put their pee and poo. They know it’s not good to just let loose so hopefully they’ll make the right choice and head for the potty.
What would a professional do?
Psychologist and author of the Easy Toilet Training Book, Dr. Janet Hall has lent her expertise with a few excerpts from her detailed and informative potty training do’s and dont’s.
DON’T put tight or intricately
fastened clothing on that is difficult
to undress or undo.
Accidents and frustration.
DO praise all attempts at positive
DON’T force a child to sit on a toilet or potty.
A fear of the toilet or potty.
DO realise that the goal of toilet training is for the child to be independently in control of visits to the toilet.
Rewards and praise work wonders
Positive reinforcement is a huge part of any training exercise and learning to go potty should be no different. Always praise your child when they use the toilet successfully and consider using simple rewards like stickers and small candies to teach them that what they are doing is good. For example, a sticker for each successful trip to the toilet that day on the child’s shirt will show off their achievements and work as a visual representation of progress as they increase the number of stickers achieved each day.
It will take time so always be patient. Frustration and anger will only upset your child and set back your training. And remember that kids develop differently, just because toddler #1 had it down in mere days doesn’t mean your second child will follow the same pattern.