Tips For Potty Training Your Toddler
So, your little one is starting to use a lot fewer nappies and barely wets the bed anymore. Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that your precious little one is growing up (feel free to cry a little) – it’s time to turn your mind to toilet matters.
Potty Training is a notoriously tricky parenthood milestone. Every parent who’s been faced with the task has had to mentally prepare themselves for frequent messes, clean-ups, and hours spent lugging a potty around.
So, it’s no wonder why moms worldwide resort to potty training books or online potty training tips to help get them through these trying times.
Include your child in the potty-picking process
While it may feel like the most natural thing in the world, it’s easy to forget that going potty can be daunting for little ones. Help them to approach these growing pains by giving them a say in what potty they’ll be using. Look for fun, cartoonish ones – maybe even one related to their favorite tv show.
Some experts recommend using formal words such as defecate or urinate rather than slang words like poo and pee so kids won’t be embarrassed by babyish terms when they’re older. However, what really matters is that you’re consistent in their usage.
Never refer to your toddler’s diapers as “smelly,” or “gross.” They’ll be much more comfortable and likely to succeed sooner if they consider going potty a less embarrassing, non-yucky activity.
Place the potty in a convenient spot
The bathroom is the obvious location. Putting it there can help your child understand that going potty happens in the bathroom. Still, you may also want to consider placing the potty in your child’s bedroom for easy access after naps or in the playroom
Dress for potty training success
Get in the habit of kitting your toddler in the right potty training clothes. This generally involves pants that pull up and down without any fiddling. So, day no to overalls or clothing with tricky buttons.
Practice the all-important pull-down-pull-up maneuver. Ask your toddler to pull down their pants before diaper changes and then pull them back up after.
Come up with a potty-time song
Suppose your little one is particularly uncomfortable when it comes to potty time. In that case, some musical encouragement could help her/him to relax and enjoy the moment. There are plenty of potty-training songs available online such as “The Potty Dance” by Rachel Coleman or “The Potty Song” by the Kilboomers.
Enjoy quality mother-baby time
Let’s face it, tensions can be high during potty training time. Bringing a book or a game along can take your toddler’s mind out of the tense moment and into a potty-positive space where mommy is here to help and comfort.
Very little keeps an energetic toddler as focused and motivated as the prospect of a reward. Keep a sticker chart on hand for potty training. Every time there’s a successful outcome, add another sticker to the chart. Once they’ve earned enough stickers, they get their big reward!
Train by example
Toddlers and babies love to mimic. What mommy does, so does baby – and that’s how they learn and grow. Why not apply the same psychology to potty training and invite your toddler into the bathroom with you? There, they can observe how you go about your business. Afterward, they should want to repeat what you’ve done!
Show and tell
If your little one isn’t the type to mimic mommy’s actions – don’t worry. There are plenty of toys and teddies that make terrific potty-time actors. Use one of your toddler’s favorite teddies to demonstrate the potty-time routine. This act-out technique is more on “their level” and can help them feel at ease when nothing else is working.
Potty train in the morning and before bed
Showing your little one the routine of going pottle at regular times can help them to build up good habits and might even prevent night-time accidents.
Buy a fun potty training toilet seat
Now that they’ve mastered the potty and are ready to move onto the big-girl toilet, it best to keep some fun involved. Apply the same tactic of letting your toddler pick their potty and let them choose their training toilet seat. This will give them a much-needed sense of control as they take the leap from potty to toilet.
Add a touch of encouraging magic
While going to the toilet is necessary, it can certainly get boring after a while – especially for a toddler. Instead of letting your little one get discouraged by the banality of bathroom routines, why not add some blue coloring to the toilet water as they pee. Or, pour some washing up liquid into the toilet water before they pee and watch them marvel at the magical bubbles afterward.
Learning to use the potty or toilet is a BIG skill. And like every challenging skill, it takes time. And of course, every child is different and will take different times to learn. Rushing your toddler or getting frustrated won’t help speed the process up. If anything, it could slow progress down. So, step back and take a breather when you find yourself getting impatient. Remind yourself that this is not forever – just for now.
If your boy seems ready to pee standing up, it’s best to start teaching him how to aim correctly. A nifty training technique is to place an O-shaped cereal into the toilet bowl or potty and encourage your boy to aim for it. The satisfaction of hitting the target will serve as positive reinforcement.
Sometimes, your toddler might just need a nudge in the other direction. While that may sound counterproductive, kids that age are famously stubborn. If mommy wants them to do one thing, they’ll do another. So, lay off on the persistence for a while, and you might just notice a surge in potty-training eagerness from your little one.
The key to conquering potty training is leaving all frustrations at the door. Accidents can get on your nerves, but punishment or scolding during or following an accident may lead to regressions and make training take longer.
Don’t fear regression
If regression happens, the last thing you should do is panic. It’s more common than you think and all just part of the learning process. All you have to do is keep encouraging your little one and following the same potty-training routine – you’ll both succeed someday!
Final word …
Let’s face it. We can learn all the potty training tips and tricks in the world and that doesn’t prepare us for motherhood. Really, all we have is potty training ideas and how our toddlers react to them.
All mother’s and toddler’s won’t have the same potty training experience but they can certainly try and make things go as smoothly as possible. Parenting is never a walk in the park but follow some of the above tips and it might just be easier!