Last week I started potty training my son Cohen who is 2 and a half year old.
It got me thinking, this is my 5th time potty training maybe I should maybe write a guide based on my experiences of potty training to help other parents.
It can be a mind boggling time for parents. How do you know when is the right time to start? Which potty do I buy? Pants or pull ups?
I am by no means an expert but here’s my guide to potty training.
When Is The Right Time To start potty training?
A lot of parents wonder when is the right time to start potty training.
Every child is different, every child develops at a different rate. Just because your other mummy friends are potty training their children, doesn’t mean your little one is ready to be potty trained.
From a young age I have talked to my children about their nappies content while changing them. Saying things like ‘is it a pee pee or poo poo today?’ ‘What have we done in your nappy?’ ‘Oh it’s a ….’ This gets them to understand the toileting vocabulary. I’ve never made ‘pee’ and ‘poo’ taboo words in our house. They are a part of normal bodily functions. Nothing to be ashamed of.
When your child is in nappies, you may start to notice from their behaviour when they are pooing. They might take themselves off into a corner and hide, others sit or stand and grunt away. I acknowledge what they’re doing, but don’t relate it to any negative or shameful comments. Praise them and let them know it’s time to change their nappy.
One thing I also find that works well is from around the age of 14-18 months, a child starts understand and following simple instructions. I encourage them to go and get their own nappy and wipes. Giving them a purpose and positive interaction in the nappy changing process.
Your child will get to know and understand these bodily functions and routines relating to them. I find at around the age of 2, some children might be before, some after. Please remember all children are different. That children with use single words and start to communicate their bodily functions. I found with my boys they would bring me a nappy or say things like ‘I poo’ or ‘change bum’.
Pees and poos are normal
I also let them know when mummy is going to the toilet to do a pee pee or poo poo. Obviously I don’t let them watch me in the process of my bodily functions. Make your child aware that we all do it.
Once my child is starting to indicate their bodily functions,I usually bring a potty out. I don’t encourage them to use it. I leave it lying around so they can investigate it. Look at it, play with it, put a teddy or doll on it, sit on it. 9 times out of 10 it becomes a hat. There is no need to go and buy an expensive potty that sings, flushes or holds a tablet. These are just gimmicks to draw you in. A box standard, plain potty from a supermarket will do. It’s personal preference, as you know your child best.
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f you feel the need to decorate the potty buy stickers of your little ones choice and let them help decorate it. Make it their own.
Try reading some of the potty training books out their written for both parents and children. Invest in them if you think it might help you or your child in your potty training journey.
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When your child is indicating and communicating with you about their pees and poos with you for a month or so, I’d say it’s time to start training.
Be Patient, potty training isn’t going to happen over night.
Be consistent. Keep trying. It will happen.
There will be accidents of both pee and poo. Try not to get upset or show your child that you are upset if an accident does happen. Simply sit your child on their potty and say ‘where do we do pee pees and poo poos? On the…’ then I get them to finish off the sentence by saying ‘potty’ together.
Make sure you have enough cleaning products in to clean up accidents in your home and on your little ones clothes. Your washing pile will grow ever so slightly.
I would advise against potty training at busy times such as Christmas, Birthdays etc. Find time when you can focus solely on potty training. When your child has your full time and attention.
Allow your child to run around ‘rudey’, so they can easily access the potty without the worry of pulling down their trousers or tights.
Celebrate every little piddle or poop in the potty. Let your child now they have done an amazing thing! Reward how you thing is best for your child. A high five, a treat, a sticker. Whatever works for you and your little one.
Pull ups or pants?
This is a personal preference, but I personally think potty training pull ups slow down any potty training progress. With my boys I found that they used them as a nappy. I took my boys to the shop and let them choose their big boys pants.
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When to introduce the ‘big’ toilet? I usually start by moving the potty closer the bathroom, then into the bathroom. Slowly take the transition into encouraging your child to just sit on the toilet and then using the toilet. You may need to purchase a step and additional toilet seat so their little bots don’t fall in.
Lastly, enjoy your potty training journey. It could last weeks, it could last months. Before you know it your child will be using the toilet independently.
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