Potty training can be a tricky task for any first-time parent. Sometimes, we are more plagued by the fear of friends’ horror stories, than the task itself. We’ve compiled a handy list of some top potty training tips to help parents overcome that fear.
Below are some simple steps to perfect potty training from expert Lisa John, Head of Nursery at family members’ club Maggie & Rose.
A step-by-step guide to perfecting potty training
Be potty prepared at all times
First things first, it’s important to have a potty to hand for when the right time comes. We suggest keeping it in the bathroom and letting your child explore it. Whether they want to sit on it fully clothed, or before/after bath time. They can even put their favourite toy on it! The potty needs to become a safe place. Reading a book about going to the toilet is also a great idea. We love ‘Pip and Post and the Little Puddle,’ by Alex Scheffler.
Take your time
When it comes to the right time to start potty training, there is no rush. It’s better to start potty training a little later than try to encourage a child that is not ready. In our experience, children who start potty training before they are ready/show an interest have longer drawn out potty training experiences.
Stay cool, calm and collected
When the time comes to take the nappies away, make sure your child isn’t going through any other transitions, it’s important to stay consistent during this time. For days 1-3 it’s always handy to stay close to home! If your child has an accident, always remain calm. Don’t punish your child or say negative words as you want to empower them to succeed in this new learning journey.
Sing their praises
Praise your child each time they manage to use the potty successfully. Some children respond well to rewards too. We suggest something visual like a sticker chart which works well. If this type of reward doesn’t work, then introduce a goal. For example, for every 10 stars reward your child for their hard work with something fun like a trip to their favourite park or a new toy.
Look out for patterns
During the first few days keep an eye out for patterns that can help you identify anything significant, including how many times they go to the toilet. This will help you work out how often you need to encourage and remind them. You need to find the balance for your child as asking too much can make them feel a little under pressure and slow down progression. If you do not remind them frequently enough you will have a few mishaps. In summary you need to support your child to listen to their body.
There’s a big difference in night and day
When it comes to night-time training, that should happen at a different stage. Focus on day-time first and then look to remove night-time nappies after you’ve mastered day time potty training.
Helpful tip: Clothes that are easy to pull up and down are the best, avoid fiddly zips and buttons! Let your child choose their own pants and make the process of wearing pants super fun.
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