There are some milestones in your child’s life that are harder to achieve than others. Some moms find potty training especially difficult, enlisting the help of professional or enrolling their toddlers in potty training boot camps.
Her are some tips that may help you in your diaper-free conquest:
Your child may be ready to start trying to use the toilet if he or she:
- stays dry for a couple of hours each day
- takes an interest when you, your partner or older siblings go to the toilet
- has bowel movements at regular times of the day, eg after breakfast
- can demonstrate when a bowel movement is taking place, by squatting or making a grunting sound for example
- lets you know he wants to be changed when his nappy is soiled
It’s usually best not to start toilet training your child during times of stress, such as:
- the arrival of a new baby in the family
- starting a new childcare arrangement
- moving from a cot to a bed
- moving house
- family relationship problems
- when a family member is ill
- Be positive and upbeat – show the change as something exciting.
- Give lots of praise whenever your child manages to do a poo on the potty. Stress how grown up and clever he is.
- Don’t rush things. Sometimes if you start teaching later, it takes less time. Toddlers over two and a half may learn almost overnight.
- Expect setbacks. Learning to use the toilet is just like other skills your toddler learns – you expect a lot of falls before walking comes easily.
- Give your toddler clothes that can be pulled down or up easily. You may also want him to wear training pants at first, to cope with those inevitable accidents.
- Never force your child to sit on the potty. This will only upset him and won’t make the process any faster.
- Some toddlers enjoy picking out their own potty and toilet seat.
- Many toddlers are afraid of the sound of the toilet flushing or don’t like to see the poo being flushed away. If your child feels like this, just wait until he has run off to play, then flush.
- It always takes longer for a child to learn to stay dry at night. When he starts having the occasional dry nappy in the morning, it’s a good sign that the time is right to try going without a nappy.
- Do your best not to be angry with your child if he has an accident. Just say, cheerfully, “Never mind, you’ll get there next time. Let’s get you some dry pants.”
- Remember to get your toddler to wash their hands afterwards, so that using the potty or toilet is associated with handwashing from the word go.