Toilet training is a big step for your little one and while it’s an exciting time, it can also fill some parents with fears of tears, lots of puddles and extra washing! But while we are all stuck at home it’s a great time to start. Fear not, it won’t be long before you’re cheering on your child and celebrating the little bit of liquid that’s successfully made it into the potty! 

Here are a few tips to help you to potty train like a pro.

1. Make sure they’re ready

One of the best tips is to make sure your child is ready. Toilet training isn’t something you can or should force. While both girls and boys are often ready to potty train around the same time (between 18 months and 30 months), it’s different for every child. Pushing your child to potty train before they are ready might actually delay the process and can create unnecessary stress for both you and your child. If your toddler can stay dry for 2 hours or during a nap then they might be ready to say goodbye to the nappies. 

2. Make sure you’re ready too

It’s important to invest in potty-training essentials to make the transition as smooth as possible. Pull-up style training pants are the perfect step away from nappies towards big-kid pants! It’s important to make toilet training a fun and enjoyable experience for a toddler, so stock up on designs that are eye-catching and let your child choose which style they want to wear – this will encourage them to love wearing pants. Choose a lightweight and sturdy potty to help boost independence when toilet training and a comfy toilet training seat will help ease the move from the potty to the toilet. Don’t forget to keep a practical step stool in the bathroom to help your little one get to those hard-to-reach places such as the toilet and sink.

3. Praise them

Be your child’s biggest cheerleader and use words of encouragement to keep them motivated and to get them excited about using the potty. Some kids might need more motivation, so rewards might be the way to go. A great idea would be to use a reward chart and each time they use the potty they get a sticker. This is a simple but great way to encourage them to continue to use the potty and understand the journey. But you know your child so use whatever method works best for them. Some parents opt for stickers, small toys or a little lolly as a reward.

4. Keep it consistent

Routine is key in this process, so once you start toilet training to keep the momentum going, stay on a schedule. To prevent your child from having accidents and to help them understand the feeling of needing to go, you could try to sit your toddler on the potty at regular intervals during the day and especially after meal times to get them used to the idea. Even though it can be a bit of a repetitive process, it will help familiarise your little one with the routine. Yes, sometimes they’ll have accidents, meltdowns and they’ll probably refuse to go, but at the end of it all your child will understand the process and will start to be more independent and take themselves to the potty. It will be hard at times but remember to give some extra patience as this is all new to them. 

5. Help them remember

Kids have big imaginations and heaps of energy. After always being in a nappy, it will take them a little while to remember that they have to go to the potty. Let’s face it, it’s not the first thing on their mind. Try keeping the potty in eye-sight and within easy reach during daily activities and then when your child gets into the habit of using it, the potty can be left in the bathroom. While your child is still getting into routine, remind them when they wake up, in between play times, before naps and meals. The more you remind them, the easier it will be for them to remember and they’ll get into the habit of going themselves but take care not to overwhelm with questioning and look for signs in your child’s behaviour that may indicate they need to use the potty.

An important thing to remember is that it’s totally ok if it takes your toddler a little while to become completely comfortable with using the toilet. They will become potty trained at their own speed, so try your best to not compare them to their peers. Most importantly relax, stay calm and try to enjoy this new stage with your child. Your child will succeed eventually and those nappy days will soon be just a happy memory!

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