! The words ‘potty training’ can cause an adult to run away, fearing the chaos, destruction and tears (from child and adult) that could potentially follow. That said, this is another amazing milestone to be achieved and if tackled in a positive, patient and consistent manner, it will be a huge success.
When to potty train a child..
Deciding when to potty train a child is difficult as each one is different. Some nurseries require you to take nappies in for a child from the age of two (which could suggest that they would like them to be using a potty by this point) and lots expect children to be fully potty trained before turning 3. Only potty train when they are ready - rushing this process and forcing them into it may cause anxiety and upset when it comes to learning this skill.
Most people start to think about potty training a child between the age of 2 and 2 and a half years old. By this point, a child should be able to control their bowels and hopefully their bladder. The best time to start the process is when there are no upheavals in routine so that the child can learn to use a potty in their consistently stable environment. There can be lots of signs that a child is ready to stop using nappies – look out for the following:
☑ When a child fidgets or goes off on their own to wee or poo.
☑ When a child can tell you that they have just done or are doing a wee or a poo.
☑ When a child pulls at their nappy and looks like they want to be clean and dry.
☑ When a child lasts longer that an hour before going for a wee.
If a child is demonstrating these signs, they are probably ready to be potty trained.
How to begin..
Introduce a potty and allow them to see it, talk about it, put their teddies on it for make believe toilet time and sit on it themselves; they will gradually gain an understanding of what it is used for. If they see you on the toilet, this is also a great time to tell them what is happening and introduce flushing the toilet and washing their hands.
Let the training commence..
Once they have read stories about ridding themselves of nappies and practiced on a potty, it is time to make the transition. Decide if you would like to use pull-up pants (training pants which allow them to feel more of the wetness) or go straight to pants. Make sure that you have the mop at the ready and shut the door to the expensive carpet in the front room for a couple of days. Tell your toddler that they must tell you when they need the toilet and remind them at different intervals. If your charge tends to poo at a certain time each day, perhaps take their nappy/pants off and tell them to go to the potty when they want to use it.
☑ Mop up accidents without showing frustration – they will occur.
☑ Praise them when they achieve success.
☑ Use a sticker chart if you think this will help to add further reward.
☑ Take a potty with you wherever you go for consistency.