So, your little one is not so little anymore – and it looks like it might be time to ditch the nappies and start thinking about toilet or potty training! You bought some big girl/boy pants and bought a new toilet seat but what else can you do to help move this process along and how do you know if your little one is really ready?
Here we look at few tip and tricks to help get your child master the first few steps on potty training and help them gain an important skill that they’ll need for the rest of their life!
Is my child ready?
Most parents think about potty training with their toddler after about 18 months or as he approaches his second birthday but, like most milestones in childhood, there are no absolutes. Every child develops at a different pace and it’s more important to look out for the following signs that he’s ready to potty train rather than his age:
- He stays dry for a couple of hours each day.
- He takes an interest when you, your partner or older siblings go to the toilet.
- He has bowel movements at regular times of the day, say, after breakfast.
- You can tell when a bowel movement is taking place, by his squatting or making a grunting sound, for example.
- He lets you know he wants to be changed when his diaper is wet or dirty.
- He knows he needs to pee and says so in advance.
How to begin potty training
Start using words related to the toilet around your toddler, such as pee or wee, poo or poop – whatever you say in your home. Whenever they do a pee or poo in their diaper try to encourage their understanding of what happened and why.
Get yourself whatever you feel you need – be that a potty, a special potty training seat that fits on top of the toilet plus a child’s step stool like the Bumbo Step Stool, that will allow him to reach the toilet easily and training undies or pull-ups.
Remember: If your toddler is a boy, who has been training for some time, then you can buy a ‘potty for boys’ that will hang on the side of the toilet, allowing him to pee standing up.
General potty-training tips
There are many tips on how to potty train your toddler. Some of the most common include:
- Leave a potty where your toddler can see it and make sure that they understand what it’s for.
- If he has a regular bowel movement at the same time each day, try keeping his diaper off and suggest using the potty instead.
- As soon as you see that your toddler is ready to pee encourage him to use his potty.
- If he’s too late, don’t make a fuss, you don’t want him to become anxious and worried.
You may find that your toddler will react well to lots of praise and encouragement, and will be more likely to ask to use the potty or toilet themselves. This is a good time to introduce hand washing too!
If you’re having a hard time toilet training your toddler or need some more tips, check out Elizabeth Pantley’s “The No-Cry Potty Training Solution”.