If you are reading this blog post then you are probably considering starting the potty training journey with your child. Although many parents see potty training as a sign that their baby is growing up too quickly, this key milestone is one to celebrate with your child as it signifies another step in their independence. Due to this, it is key that potty training is approached with positivity and praise, as how it is handled determines how your child will view the experience and how successful they are at the task.
Finding the task ahead daunting? You aren’t alone, many new parents struggle to know even where to start. Luckily at Daisy Baby Shop, we are on hand to offer you a few tips for successful potty training and a happy child.
When to start potty training?
Although it can be tempting to rush into potty training as your child using a toilet independently is far more convenient than nappies, you must only approach this when they are ready. There is no definite age that children should start to learn to use the potty, however an average rule is between 18 months to 3 years old. Babies who are under the age of two don’t have mature enough muscles to control their bladder or rectum and staring too early can cause issues later on emotionally and physically with accidents seen more often. Look for signs that they want to start using the potty as this is a key indication that they are ready. Toddlers will often ask about it, or even start acknowledging that they need to go.
A key thing to bare in mind also when potty training is the gender of your child. Girls often take to the potty much quicker than boys. It isn’t clear why this is, but many claim it can be due to sitting down or the clean up process being much simpler.
How to prepare for potty training?
Potty training isn’t something that you can just suddenly spring on your child, even if they have shown an interest. Talk to them about what you are going to do and what they need to learn. It is also a great idea to take them with you to pick up your toilet training supplies or show them online what you are ordering. New items often build excitement in children and if they feel as though they are included in the process they will show less resistance.
There are a few key items that you will need for the first stages of potty training, these include;
Potty - There are so many different potties on the market so it can be difficult to choose. The main functions that it should have is to be easily cleaned and easy to transport around the house. You may wish to have a home potty and also a travel potty that you can have to hand when you are out and about.
Footstool - When your child makes the transition from potty to toilet, they will need a footstool to be able to reach it. It is also a good idea to have one to hand so that they can reach the sink when they go to wash their hands if you don’t have one already.
Practice Pants - To help get out of the habit of nappies, but still protect encase of an accident, you will need some practise pants. These can be worn like normal pants and pulled down for when they need to use the potty.
Toilet Seat - An adult toilet seat is far too big for your little one when they start using it. Invest in a removable toilet seat that is just for them. There are also lovely cushioned varieties to make the experience more comfortable.
To view all of our potty training products click here.
How to approach potty training?
You’ve done the research and brought all of the essentials now it's time to start training.
Start slowly with potty training first and continually ask them if they need to use the potty. If they can’t seem to answer you, then try sitting them on the potty when you know they are likely to go. If they do go them praise them for doing so. If they don’t want to use the potty don’t force them. Potty training is necessary, but it doesn’t need to end in a battle of wills.
The key to potty training is to keep consistent, keep the potty near you at home and when you are out and about. If they show signs that they need to go or ask to go, then be quick with the potty. You will find that children who are new to potty training don’t give you a lot of time before they really have to go as they start to learn how to control themselves. As we all know, children don’t sit still for very long so having them sit on the potty until they relax can seem like a lot to ask. You can stay with them, give them a toy to play with or read them a story. This will take the boredom away from just sitting there and encourage the positive associations they will make when using the toilet.
You will naturally endure accidents from time to time, but these should decrease as they advance through the stage. Once they are dry all day, you can start introducing them to night time potty training and then to using an adult toilet.
Night time potty training comes much later in the potty training process. Start this process when they wake up dry several nights in a row as this is a good indication that they are ready. Again tell them what you need them to do and sit the potty near their bed with a night light. There are also some potties that have a night light installed in them so that your child can be easily guided to it if they wake up and need to go. They can also call you to help them if they need to go and try and avoid liquids that contain caffeine before bed such as hot chocolate. Remember it is normal for children to wet the bed up until the age of 5 so it may be best to invest in a mattress protector to help make the clean up process easier.
Things to keep in mind
When potty training, it can be easy to forget that what we take for granted as adults is something brand new for a child. Consider that your child needs to know all of the steps;
1.Knowing that they need to go to the toilet
2.Pulling down their pants before they sit on the toilet
3.Knowing when they have finished
6.Washing their hands
Each of these steps need patience and consistency. You will also need to explain how to wipe to make sure they are clean and avoid infections. This is different for boys and girls.
No matter when you decide to potty train your child, remember the key factors and the experience will be a happy one for you and your child, helping them prepare for their future.