Never mind the elephant in the room, it’s time to address something a bit smaller – the humble toilet. That’s right, it’s time to talk toilet training. As your toddler slowly works their way out of nappies and up to the throne in every home, they’re going to need a bit of help and encouragement.
For instance, I once saw a video of a toilet which had a magnificent feature when it flushed…it played a triumphant tune. While perhaps a little unnecessary for us adults, our youngsters could certainly benefit. The little lass exiting the bathroom had the biggest grin on her face!
Unfortunately for us all, potty training isn’t quite as simple as using a novelty flusher. If only! While the process will differ for every little tot, a lot of you will likely have the same concerns or questions. So with June being national toilet training month, it was the perfect time for a bit of Q&A.
For those of you who were otherwise disposed (perhaps in the bathroom with your little one), this took the form of a Facebook Live event. We teamed up with Amanda Jenner, the UK’s toilet training expert and creator of the Potty Training Academy, to get you the advice you need. Here’s a little round-up of the most popular topics covered and some helpful tips:
signs of readiness
Make sure your child is fully ready before starting to toilet or potty train. Forcing the process only delays the training and causes frustration if your child isn't ready. When they begin to recognise they have done a wee or poo, stopping in their tracks or insisting on a nappy change, you’re ready to go (pardon the pun).
Make sure your child is dry during the day for at least a month before tackling night-time training. That way their bladders will be stronger and more able to hold their wee. Remember to reduce liquids about 30 minutes before saying goodnight and get them to sit on the potty or toilet just before bed.
refusal to train & accidents at home
Holding poos and refusing is very common, don’t worry. Having a reward system can really be of benefit. Using stickers with a chart and a reward box helps to keep the momentum going and your child on track.
out and about
If your child is having accidents while in the car, make sure you take their potty with you and reassure them it's there if necessary. Equally, ensure that your childminder/nursery are aware you have started potty/toilet training so that there is consistency - and if possible use the same potty training system.
If your child is frightened to go on the toilet, make sure you keep it fun (did someone say musical flusher?) Let them choose their potty or toilet seat and be sure to give them lots of regular praise and encouragement; consistency is key.
And that’s it folks, short and sweet like our toddlers (most of the time). Hopefully you’ll have found some nuggets of wisdom that will make things a bit easier. If you’re going a little potty though and need a bit more help, we’ve also put together a guide to toilet training that’s worth a look. Plus the Potty Training Academy's My Potty Training Pack can also help you and your little one on the journey.
Even when the going gets tough, just remember this...