Potty training can be messy, unpredictable, and lengthy (who knew it took so long to master the art of using the toilet?) Make your life easier with these simple tips:
1. Get the seat sorted
Like everything else in a toddler’s life, they can be a bit choosy about the type of toilet seat they’ll sit on. So if they don’t seem to like the classic sit-down potty, try changing tactics with a soft-seated potty chair, or a child’s seat adapter. They come with all sorts of bright lights and gadgets these days. See what appeals to your toddler, and just aim to make the potty a fun place to visit.
2. Say bye bye nappies
Once you start the toilet training in earnest, it’s worth moving your child into proper underpants as soon as you can. We know, it’s hard to imagine a nappy-free day, but a big part of toilet training is teaching your toddler how to get their undies up and down, and for lots of children, moving into undies is a real source of pride. Also, wetting their undies for the first time will be a major learning curve, and might just motivate them to get to the potty quick smart.
One thing to note about ditching the nappies though – Babyology’s toilet training expert Monica Ferrie says that there is no research to show that going back to nappies causes kids to regress in their toilet training. So, if things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d hoped with toilet training, or if you’ve hit a snag such as a disruption at home or illness, it’s fine to pop the nappies back on for a bit longer and try again later, when your tot is feeling more settled.
Listen to Babyology’s toilet training expert, Monica Ferrie on Feed Play Love:
3. Keep clothing simple
When your toddler shouts ‘I need to go wee-wee!’ you’ll literally have seconds to get them onto that potty, so you definitely want to keep clothing simple and fuss-free. Overalls and pants with a million buttons can wait. Opt instead for some good old track pants, or loose dresses and skirts. Toilet training in the warmer months is also going to make things easier since you can work in lots of bare-bum time.
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4. Consider incentives
Reward charts, stickers, treats or trips to the park – some kids just respond better to incentives. See what’s most effective for your child, and keep it consistent so that they know a successful trip to the potty equals good times ahead. Above all, reinforce their effort with lots of praise. When the inevitable accident happens, try to keep things positive.
5. Have a stash of spare clothes
At some point, you’ll have to leave the house with your toilet-training child. Take lots of spare clothes with you (don’t forget spare undies and socks), and maybe keep outings simple. Trips to the supermarket or long drives in the car can be a little dicey.
6. Invest in some industrial-strength waterproofing
Just as you get the hang of daytime toilet training, there’s one more hurdle ahead of you: nap and night time toilet training. This can take months, maybe even years. And honestly, there’s not a lot you can do to speed up the process. Just go with it, have a good supply of disposable training pants, and invest in a really good waterproof mattress protector or specially designed waterproof bed linen and sheets.
7. Keep a backup potty in the car
Seems kind of unnecessary, until you go on that picnic and your toddler refuses to wee behind the tree. This is when you can whip out the emergency potty from the car boot. Granted, you may never use it, but for that one picnic, you will be eternally grateful.
Need some more toilet training advice? Our Parent School Toilet Training Support program can help. Click to find out more or book a one-on-one session with a toilet training expert.