Toilet Training Your Toddler
Are you starting to think you will be buying nappies forever? Well, nobody says potty training is easy. It takes perseverance, participation and patience. The 3 pees – pardon the pun! There are many resources available to help parents through this time. Just remember to keep the whole learning process fun for both you and your child.
When should I begin?
When your child is between 18-months and two-years old you can start to familiarise him or her with the process of using the toilet. A good place to start is with the language you use. Talk to your child using words such as pee-pee, poop, and potty when they look like they need to go – and putting a potty in the bathroom. This will help them become familiar with seeing the potty before they start to use it.
Try to work the potty into your daily routines. Offer your child the opportunity to sit on the potty when you are preparing to change a nappy or with a favorite bath toy while you prepare the bath. Kids like routine, so having the potty already part of the routine makes the toilet training procedure much easier.
What signs should I look for?
Signs include staying dry for at least 2 hours at a time or throughout their daytime nap, having regular bowel movements (BM), being able to follow simple instructions, being uncomfortable with dirty nappies and wanting them to be changed, being highly interested in the toilet, asking to use the potty, or wanting to wear regular underwear.
By now you will be aware how much your child loves to mimic you. So showing your child how you go to the toilet is a good start. They have to learn to use the toilet just like they have to learn any other habit, like brushing teeth or getting dressed. If you allow them to watch you sit on the toilet, use toilet paper, flush the toilet and wash your hands, that’s all part of the learning process.
It is also helpful for Dads to get involved to help out their sons with the toilet training process. Let’s face it – it’s a different technique!
Praise, Praise & more Praise.
It’s important to proceed with potty training with patience and a positive attitude. Never punish them if they make a mistake during the training process or if they don’t want to use the potty. Praise them for trying and for getting it right. Reward them with lots of smiling and clapping! Positive feedback all the way.
Find the right throne
There are 2 popular options. The potty chair and the toilet trainer which is a smaller toilet seat which sits over your regular toilet seat. The potty chair is a popular option, with some children scared of the toilet seat due to the noise of the “plop” into the toilet water and a fear of falling in.
Toilet Training Tips!
- Keep the potty chair out where your child will see it
- Encourage practice by increasing your child's fluids intake
- Take off your child’s nappy when you think they are going to make a BM and move them to the potty and encourage them to use it
- For BM training, feed your child lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty of fluid to keep their stool soft to avoid painful BM. Painful BM will distress the child and they will associate this pain with the potty.
- Offer praises and sticker on the potty chart for every successful visit to the throne.
- Do not force your child to sit on the potty.
- Expect mistakes and accidents. Do not show anger or punish your child.
Get the toilet training process off to a flying start
Potty books - Take your little one to a book store and let them choose 3 books they really like. Allow them to read them only while on the potty.
For Boys – Put coloured ice cubes, some shaving cream or other flushable items into the toilet. Call them fire and ask your son to put out the fire. Reward him for accuracy in shooting the floating items.
For Girls – Let her choose some pants with her favourite character on them – Cinderella/Dora etc. Then tell them not to get Cinderella/Dora wet. It works really well.
Remember that not everything works for everyone. Don’t despair! You will be sure to find something that works when you least expect it.
If you have any Toilet Training Tips that have worked for you or a friend post it on our Facebook page – Silly Billyz Australia, and share with other Mums working away at toilet training.