Toilet Training. Potty Training. Poo Time. Whatever you refer to it as, it can be stressful, smelly and at times, messy. Very messy.
There are no set rules when it comes to potty training, but it’s important to recognise the signs and have a plan in place for when the time comes.
Most children start working on using the toilet between 18 months and 3 years. However, it can be hard to know when exactly the perfect time for your child is to start. We often recommend looking out for the following five signs to make the process easier and reduce the risk of accidents
- Your child has dry nappies for at least 1 or 2 hours at a time
- They recognise that they are having a ‘wee’ and may often tell you
- Fidgeting or going somewhere quiet or hidden to do their business
- They know they have a dirty nappy, may ask you to change it, take it off themselves or start pulling at it
- They know when they need a wee and may tell you beforehand
The first thing to think about is if you want to train using a potty, toilet or both. Whilst the toilet may be easier for you, a potty is mobile and may be less scary for your child.
Next, make sure you have all of the equipment to start the process. Does your child need a step for when they’re using the toilet? You may also want to invest in a training seat that fits securely to your toilet.
Teach your child some words for going to the toilet like ‘wee wee’ ‘poop’ or ‘I need to go’.
You could also make the word fun or discrete, so they don’t get embarrassed to let you know when you’re out in public or if you have visitors.
Tip: Plan toilet training for when you don’t have any big changes or events happening. To reduce any accidents, try to avoid overlapping training with going on holiday, starting school, having a new baby or moving to a new house.
Let the Potty Training Commence
By this point, you more than likely have an idea of when your child carries out their ‘business’. At these points, sit your child on the potty or toilet so they become familiar with the process. This may not work for all children, if they spend 3-5 minutes on the toilet without action, take them off. Having them sit on the toilet can make them feel like they’re being punished.
Look out for signs your child needs the toilet, including changes in posture, passing wind or moving to a different room on their own.
The process of potty training can be slow but it’s important to praise your child for both trying and succeeding in the process. Gradually reduce the amount of praise as your child masters each part of the process to the point where going to the toilet comes naturally to them.
Make sure your child knows it’s okay to tell you when they need to go. At different stages throughout the day ask them if they need the toilet.
This process can be messy. If they miss the toilet, don’t see it as a setback. Accidents are just that and it’s important to keep the process a positive one.
Pants and Clothing
Stop using nappies during the day, stick to using them when they’re sleeping. Start using training pants or regular underpants all of the time. You can even make the process more exciting by letting them choose their own.
Dress your child in clothes that are easy to take off. We’ve all been in the situation of trying to get a jumpsuit off when using the toilet, imagine what that could be like for someone who hasn’t mastered toilet training yet!
Wipe your child’s bottom until your child learns how to do it them self.
Remember, front to back.
Teach your son to ‘shake’ after a wee to get rid of any drops.
TIP: Early in toilet training, it sometimes helps to float a ping pong ball in the toilet for him to aim at.
Teach your child how to wash their hands after using the toilet. Make it fun with foam soap in a bottle with their favourite character.
Out and about
You’re going to have to face leaving the house whilst potty training at some point. Wherever you go, make sure you know where the nearest toilets are.
It’s best to take a spare pair of underpants and clothes for when you go out until they’re confident using the toilet. Don’t forget a plastic bag for any wet or soiled clothes.
If your child goes somewhere without you, like daycare or to a relative’s house, let them know you’re potty training and the process you have put in place.
TIP: A portable potty and waterproof mat for the car seat comes in handy when you’re out and about.
Toilet Training is the one thing we want our children to pick up quickly and easily, but the truth is, it can take time and accidents are part of the process.
If your child gets upset about an accident, make sure they know it doesn’t matter, and there’s always going to be another chance to get it right.
Toilet Training Pack
At Scallywags we provide the complete toilet training pack, filled with all of the necessities you need to assist you in the potty-training process.
Contents include: toilet training children’s storybook, portable potty, reward charts, stickers, toilet training guidance for Parents, ‘Pop In’ car seat protector and toilet training seat.
Our packs are ideal for starting the potty-training process and are available to borrow from our Sheffield Nursery.