Before you start to potty train your child, ensure everything is ready to make the process as easy as possible for them. You want them to succeed so being organised is key.
Make sure everyone who looks after your child is aware that you are beginning potty training, and purchase a potty or a training seat for the toilet.
Before you start:
- Encourage your child to sit on the potty or training seat with or without their nappy
- Have some books on going to the potty that you can read to your child
- If they have a favourite toy, let them play potties with their toy in advance of potty training.
I found it easier to trade regular nappies for pull ups, but do what works best for you and go straight for underwear if you prefer.
- Encourage your child to sit on the potty or toilet for a short time, every 60 to 90 minutes without their pull up/underwear to get them used to it.
- Praise them even if they don’t do anything.
- Talk to your child about using the potty and stay with them when they are on it. You could give them a book or toy to have while they are trying. Or have a song that you sing while they are sitting on the potty.
- Look out for the signs that your child needs to go and get them there quickly but calmly.
- Don’t chastise them for accidents
- Be positive and encouraging
- At this early stage it is easier for boys to master going to the toilet by sitting on the potty/toilet rather than standing up.
- Help your child with their clothes and pull ups.
To make Potty Training a positive experience for your child it is often good to offer an incentive. Use encouraging words and phrases every time they make it to the potty or toilet on time. Let them flush away the contents.
You could have a reward chart where they can add a sticker each time they go and when it is full they get a trip to the playground. Or offer to read a special story or play a special game.
Offer reminders, but don’t keep asking them if they need the toilet every 10 minutes! Accidents will happen but eventually you will get to know the signs of when they need to go, as will they.
As time goes on, sit them on the potty or toilet at certain points in the day, when they wake up, after a snack or meal, before nap or bed times or before you go out.