29th July 2019
Potty training can be a daunting prospect for many parents, not knowing when to start, how to start and what to do. There might be pressure from family members to start too soon or competition from friends that have been there done that or boasting that their children are toilet trained already. But guess what? All children are different and do things at different ages and stages of their development so there is no need to panic. Most children indicate when they are ready to achieve the next milestone and there are signs you can watch out for. Hopefully this blog post will help you understand a little more about potty training and use these tips to help you get started, or equally give you the confidence to say ‘No, they’re just not ready yet’.
Generally most children begin to show signs of potty readiness between 18 months and three years old.
Some of the main signs might be. . .
- Growing sense of independence and understanding. (If they don’t understand then they simply will not grasp the concept of using the potty or the toilet).
- Regular bowel movements
- Having dry periods during the day and especially after nap time (as this shows the bladder muscles are developed enough to have a certain amount of control).
- Can start to pull own pants/trousers up without too much help.
- Shows a general interest in toilet time
- is unhappy when they are in a wet/dirty nappy and may show awareness of when they are going to do a poo
- can understand and follow simple instructions
Getting started. . .
- Maybe start the whole process by regularly reading a simple picture book about potty training with your child. This will introduce the concept of the potty before you physically start to potty train.
- Perhaps start by going to the shops with your child to buy a new potty and pants, this will get them excited and involved in the process.
- Be consistent but take things slowly at first. If they resist, do not push them to do anything as this will reinforce negative thoughts regarding using the potty/toilet. Encourage them to sit on the potty once a day at first, maybe after breakfast or before nap time or perhaps when you think they might be due a poo.
- Gradually start to introduce the potty at other times of the day, especially after a wet/dirty nappy to reinforce that that is where wees and poos need to go. Do not make them sit of the potty for longer than necessary in the hopes they might do something, the chances are they probably won’t and you will make them dislike using the potty if they are sat on it too much .
- Once they are happy sitting on and using the potty and you have got into a bit of a routine regarding using the potty then you can start to think about taking the nappies away during the daytime. One of the best ways to start tackling this is to wear nothing around the house for a little while, until they are fully content using the potty.
- Once this stage is established you can start to wear pants and clothes again. Do not be deterred if they have lots of accidents to begin with, they need to get used to the fact that they do not have nappies on anymore and wetting themselves and being uncomfortable will help them to learn this.
- It may take a few days for them to fully comprehend the changes. Sometimes small treats may help such as stickers for wees, chocolate buttons for poos or maybe a small toy at the end of the week, depending on how well they have done (Do not rely too much on treats as these will have to be taken away eventually).
- When deciding to start potty training it may be a good idea to dedicate a good week at home to it. Consistency is key so anyone looking after your child, (grandparents, nursery providers) need to be made aware of when you are starting it and the approach you are taking.
- Try to stick to your guns once you have started as going back to nappies can often confuse children, although you know your child the best and if you simply feel they are not understanding then stop and try again in a few weeks (explaining to your child what you are doing).
We hope this post has helped you gain a little knowledge on how to begin potty training and whether your little one is ready to start this journey. Try not to stress out and panic about this transition, it will happen and often your child will naturally let you know they are ready themselves. Good Luck.