Need some help neglecting the nappies? We’ve got you covered with 5 top tips for potty training your child.
Are you counting down the days until your child makes that all-important toilet transition? It’s about time that your child learnt how to use the toilet… Right? The thing is, potty training will never work unless your child is fully ready and there’s no specific age they will be ready! So, don’t worry if your child isn’t there yet, just start introducing the idea slowly and they’ll get there at some point! Signs that your child is ready to start using the toilet on their own could be just them showing an interest in the bathroom, telling you when they need to go, or them attempting to use the normal loo, if any of these signs appear, you know it’s time to potty train.
1. Don’t worry if it takes a while
For some children, potty training can take about a year, so don’t worry if your little one doesn’t grasp it straight away. In reality, using the toilet is a rather complicated process, especially for someone who hasn’t ever needed to think about it before. The child needs to understand what their body is telling them and then understand that this means they need to use the toilet. They also need to learn how long it will take them to get to the toilet before an accident occurs! Patience is key here. You need to consistently reinforce this behaviour, even if this is getting them to go to the toilet every twenty-minutes throughout the day! The bottom line is, don’t worry if they take their time and don’t rush things!
2. Positive Reinforcement
Giving your child a treat (which could be anything from congratulating them and giving them praise, to giving them some chocolate) when they use the potty properly will mean they associate this behaviour with positive outcomes. Therefore, they will more likely repeat that behaviour to get the same outcome.
3. Now for the tricky part…
Wiping is proven to be the trickiest part of potty training for many parents, but it is also one of the most important parts! If your child doesn’t know how to wipe properly, this could cause discomfort for them and mess for you, so it’s best to teach them early. Get flushable wipes for them if toilet paper proves difficult, these are easier for their little hands to hold and provide a better clean. Teaching them the correct technique, such as how to wipe in the correct direction (front to back) is imperative to avoid infection, especially with girls. Teach your child to wipe until clean, as many children will just wipe once and still be dirty, demonstrate how as well, showing them exactly how to use the toilet roll.
4. Boys will be boys
Potty training for boys can be daunting at first but don’t worry, we’re here to help. When potty training your little boy, we would recommend introducing them first to sitting down whilst urinating. This means less mess, and also takes out the decision-making factor for them of whether to stand or sit (equating to yet again, less mess). It’s also proven successful to have boys sit backwards on the proper toilet, so they don’t have to worry about aim or anything! However, there will come a time when they need to practice aim. One way to get your little boy used to this is to give them something to aim at, placing something in the potty for them to focus on. Again, with boys, consistency and reinforcement is key.
5. Make it fun!
Making toilet training fun and exciting for children is proven to result in much quicker learning. Making a game out of it like setting a timer encouraging your child to go every time it goes off, expressing enthusiasm yourself about going to the toilet, or using their favourite toy to demonstrate will cause your child to view it as fun and exciting. This means they will want to do it more often, resulting in them learning more quickly. Follow these 5 top tips and your child will be an expert at using the toilet in no time!