Potty training can be one of the most stressful times in raising small children. Everyone feels the pressure to have their little one trained, but not all children are ready when their parents feel they should be.
Here is a guide for getting your child to use the toilet.
Baby Nursery Requirements
If your child is still quite young, you don’t need to worry about potty training just yet. Baby nursery requirements rarely stipulate that the child needs to be toilet trained in order to attend. However, once they are older and going to a nursery school, they may not be permitted to attend unless they are consistently using the toilet.
Potty training education begins long before your little one is actually ready to train. You can do this by taking your child to the bathroom and talking about how to use the toilet. Explain that it takes the wee and the poo away so you don’t have a mess.
Ideally, you should change nappies in the bathroom so your child understands that this is where toilet related business takes place. You may even direct them to the bathroom when they show signs of filling their nappy, just so they get used to doing it in there.
Some parents find it useful to purchase a potty early on in their child’s life and let them know that it is for their use. You don’t need to force them to use it too early but having it in the bathroom will encourage them to use it. If they wish to sit on it, they can certainly try and this can help give them a sense of accomplishment, particularly if they happen to wee while on it.
All of this is to help your child become comfortable with the idea of using the potty, even if they aren’t going to potty train for another year or more.
Signs Your Child is Ready for Potty Training
Starting your potty training too early will usually result in failure, frustration, and a child who is determined not to use the toilet at all. It’s best to wait until they are showing signs of readiness, which come at different ages. Ideally, you should start training between the ages of two and two and a half, but some children show signs much earlier than this and others may not be ready until a little later.
Every child is different, which is why you should pay close attention to how they react to diaper changes, mentions of the toilet, and when they need to go. Keep in mind that boys tend to be ready later than girls and it may be a longer process with them, as well. Every child has their own timeline, so be patient and know that they won’t still be in nappies when they are off to university.
Here are the signs that they are ready to start training:
1. They stay dry for periods of time. When your child can hold their urine for an hour or two without wetting their nappy, you know that they have enough bladder control to use the potty.
2. They know when they need to wee. You’ll notice your toddler stops to wee and may even tell you that they have to go.
3. They want to be changed once they are wet or dirty. Your toddler may no longer wish to be dirty or wet and will show you their nappy needs changing by requesting a change, removing their nappy, or just pulling on it.
4. They show signs of having to use the toilet. When your little one begins to squat to poo or goes off to hide while they fill their nappy, that’s a very good sign that they are quite aware of what needs to be done. Recognising the need to wee or poo is necessary if they are to use the toilet.
5. They tell you they need to wee. If they can tell you what they’re going to do ahead of time, they can get to the toilet.
6. They know what the toilet is for. Children tend to follow their parents about and even into the bathroom. Your toddler will know what the toilet is for before they begin to use it.
When you notice your child exhibiting these signs, you know that they are ready to start using the potty. Now it’s all in the training.
Potty Training for Nursery School
If you are working on potty training, it is essential that you let the child’s daycare or nursery know that you are doing this. They can keep up with the training and help your child achieve consistency throughout their day. This is also the best way to prevent your little one from reverting to nappies because they still use them in daycare.
There is no one way to potty train and since every child is different, there are a variety of techniques. Some people swear by leaving their child to run about naked for several days until they have mastered the ability to use the potty, while others take a more measured approach. There’s no right or wrong way, as long as you are gentle about it.
You should never force your child to sit on the potty, as this can cause unpleasant feelings to be associated with it, but you can make it a fun time to sit there. Read a book to them, play a game, or sing a song and make it an activity that they enjoy.
It’s also important to sit your child on the potty at a time when they are more likely to go to the bathroom. For many children, realizing that the potty is where they can wee or poo is the catalyst to using it regularly. They just need one success and they’re off! This means putting your child on the potty right after a meal, since this often causes a bowel movement.
If your child tends to go at a certain time of day, you can make a point of putting them on the potty at that time and encouraging them to use it. Some children will simply wait until they have their nappy back, but in that case, simply wait a few weeks to try again. You may also try to do the same if you notice your child exhibiting signs of needing to use the toilet.
You can switch to pull-up pants at this point. Some even come with fun designs that disappear when the child gets them wet, or they may become very cold and uncomfortable. This can all help to train them to use the potty instead of their pants.
Keeping Potty Training Fun
While potty training may feel stressful for you, it’s important that it isn’t stressful for your child. You want it to be a good experience, so they’ll want to use the potty, not avoid it.
Here are a few ways to do that:
Make a sticker chart for successful potty times
Give a little reward for using the potty
Offer specific toys only while on the potty
You can enlist older siblings to cheer on the little one while they’re learning too. Make them feel accomplished as they successfully navigate the trials of the toilet.
Potty Training for Nights
Night training is something very different from potty training during the day. Your child may not be ready for this for years yet and that is nothing to worry about. Don’t even consider it until you know that your child has stayed dry throughout the night for at least two weeks. Once you know they have the necessary bladder control to stay dry at night, encourage them to use the toilet before bed, then remind the child that they can use it in the night too. Be sure to leave the way to the bathroom well-lit for them.
Your child will night train when they are ready. For some children, this doesn’t happen for a very long time and you may need to get them in the habit of waking up in the night to use the bathroom.
Potty training may take a while, but don’t get discouraged. This is something that just can’t be rushed. With consistency, your child will learn to use the potty, and eventually, you’ll find that there are no more nappies in your home.
Need a quality daycare for your child? Little Acorn Nursery is waiting for you. Contact us today to learn more.