(1) Got a positive mindset?
Children pick up on all of the subconscious signals you put out so try to adopt positive thinking and get ready for a lot of patience! Most importantly, please don't be embarrassed as all of us have been there. If your child picks up on your signals, they may become more cautious about potty training when out and about.
(2) Remember, every child is different
Be patient and kind to both yourself and your child. You will both get it wrong at some point but that's all part of the learning together. Forgive yourself for not being able to get to the potty quick enough or forgetting to bring the wipes!. Even 2nd and 3rd time parents have confessed to me that they get it wrong too. What worked for your first child and what you thought you knew the first time around may not suit your next child.
(3) Look for the Signs
From around 15 months onwards, look for signs they are ready.
This might be small things like pulling at a dirty nappy or telling you they have just done a wee or poo in their nappy. They may even say I don’t want my nappy. Your child may be so used to having a nappy on that they are a little worried about not doing a poo in their nappy. These are all signs that your child might be getting ready for the transition to use a toilet.
(4) Be Prepared
Have a potty within arms reach no matter where you are.
Should your child want to go when you least expect it! (In my case, in a shopping aisle and on the beach miles away from the public loos!) you know you can grab and 'go'
You may find it useful to have the same potty at home so your child can get used to it.
(5) Practice by Playing
Play & practice 'going to the potty' as a game to play in readiness for the real thing might help your child get a head start in what to expect. Go and practice in the loo at grandma's, friends, play dates, aunts and uncles. This will help get your child used to different environments.
Get them used to the idea and have fun whilst learning.
Try building a potty routine into your every day routine. Perhaps this is 5 minutes on the potty before bathtime or going to the toilet after every meal time?
(7) The Praise Effect
I remember reading somewhere that you need to praise a person at least 8 times before they get it whereas a single criticism is easily remembered. So repeatedly praise your child again and again for even trying and your child will feel they are heading in the right direction.
(8) Read Together
You may find looking and reading and talking though books together with your child about toilet training might help with some of your child's questions and your concerns.
We also used favourite bedtime books that were associated with relaxing when being able to relax was key. Toys can also help, but try not to use toys that require too much activity or they may become too distracted and go running off!
(9) Potty Friendly Clothing
Dress your child in practical loose fitting clothing they can take off themselves, perhaps with elasticated waist or stretchy leggings. Skirts and long shirts can be helpful in situations where a bit of discretion may be needed and to help the child get into a more comfortable position.
- T-shirts and vests to do up under the crotch
- Hand washed or dry cleaned only
- Clothing with zip or button
(10) Hygiene Excellence
From the start is really important to set up life long habits for your child. Ensure that you wash your hands together with warm soap and water after every potty use whether real or practice. In your travel kit ensure you have hand sanitiser and wipes and use them after every use.
Remember to wipe your child’s bottom from front to back to prevent any poop from going where it shouldn’t! Teach them to do the same.
You will also need to teach them how to hold toilet roll. This is especially important if you are enrolling in any sort of kindergarten.
Kids love to copy, so you can always show them how whilst you go to the toilet.
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