Don’t let this picture fool you-we started potty training Little last summer-and stopped last summer. If I’m being honest, we stopped because I was too busy (last summer was an interesting one-the hubby got into two separate accidents-both requiring trips to the hospital-one requiring a 4 day stay), I was just too lazy and well, Little was too young and wasn’t 100% ready.
Now, we’re back at it again, and well, it seems to be going better. Little seems to be a bit more ready, and well, so am I.
That’s one of the keys to potty training-your little needs to be ready for it. As much as you can try otherwise, if they’re not ready, you’re not likely to be successful. They’ll let you know they’re ready when you notice they start informing you when they need to go-meaning they’re recognizing the signs their body is giving them that they need to take a seat on the porcelain throne. Or they may start showing an interest in the fact that you use the toilet to go, instead of depositing it into your pants, and because we all know that as a parent not even going to the bathroom is a private event anymore. 😊
Here are some helpful tips to help you when you’re ready to take the potty training journey.
- Make the throne their own. Whether you buy a separate potty, or you buy one of the endless selections of potty seats that fit on the regular toilet-make it something that’s special-and theirs. Let them help pick it out on a special trip to the store. Some great options for potty seats would be the Bumbo Potty Trainer for $34.95 CDN. Or a lower cost option that works well is the Prince LionHeart Wee Pod Toilet Trainer for $18.50 CDN. Some nice options for separate potties would be the Baby Bjorn Potty Chair for $44.95 CDN or the Summer Infant My Size Potty for $49.95 CDN (this one looks like a miniature sized toilet).
- Take it for a test drive. Let your little flip the toilet seat up and down. Let them sit on it, clothed, and with pants down. Let them flush it. The more they get used to everything a toilet does, likely the more willing they will be to use it.
- Try to keep a schedule. If you try your best to put them on the toilet at the same time each day, it helps teach their body to evacuate at expected intervals-giving them, and you, a little more control over the situation.
- Number One and Number Two are going to require different training. In general, most children get the hang of going pee on the toilet quicker then the do with number two. Don’t ever force a child to go either on the toilet if they don’t have to or want to. The results could mean them holding their urine or bowel movements, which could lead to UTI’s and constipation-and pain-and then, well, game over for potty training.
- Be a team. If your little goes to day care or a sitter, make sure all care givers are on the same routine to ensure success. If things are different at different places, it can cause confusion and children could regress.
- Don’t be surprised if they stay dry during the day-but not at night. Some children end up having a hard time with night time urination sometimes years after they’ve been toilet trained. And waking a child throughout the night isn’t always great either. Help them practice bladder control during the day-and strictly limit liquids after dinner time.
- Don’t be aggressive. Don’t push or pressure your little to use the toilet before they’re ready. It can cause a fear of toilets and using them, and isn’t going to help.
- Praise, encourage and celebrate! Make a big deal out of their success. Create a star chart, allow them to earn rewards-or make picking out new big kid underwear a big outing. Children thrive off of loving praise and encouragement-and if you show how proud you are of them, they will be confident and proud of themselves.
- Expect some regression. Little may do really well for an extended period of time and then end up taking two steps backward. Don’t get frustrated, and don’t scold them for it either. Just keep up the routine and push through.
Encourage hand washing. And don’t be shy about talking to littles about the parts of their body and how they all work-why we poo and pee-how it keeps our bodies working properly. And be consistent about the names you use for their parts, so as not to cause confusion.
And remember- shit happens 😉