Potty training is a challenge for many parents!

When is the best time to start potty training?

Better too late, than too early; one of the best signs is your toddler showing an interest that they want to begin the process.

Toddlers & Toilet training

They may not longer like the nappy wet or soiled; or they tell you they’re about to wee or poo. ‘I want to do it myself’ is a sign of wanting independence and meet it with encouragement and support. Toilet training can take days or weeks; so be sure you are ready to have lots of patience! It needs to be a time when you know you are going to be close to home.

How to Toilet Train

Have the potty ‘in situ’ well before. Bring your child out to pick their new pants and talk about being a ‘big girl/boy’. Remember to ask them every forty five minutes if they need to use the potty. Don’t make them sit on it for too long and praise any effort – even if they do not do a wee!

There is no best method of potty training except having a parent who is relaxed, not withdrawing love when the child makes a mistake. Our childs greatest need is our love and the withdrawal of that- or crossness, impatience etc makes the child feel less secure and may mean they go into avoidance to prevent a reoccurance of the parents getting mad.

Parent’s relaxation is key to successful toilet training:

If there is a fear of the toilet; it is usual that the toilet has an association of something negative, did the parent rush them or get irritable with them. Learning to hold or release is all about feeling relaxed; therefore respond with love, patience and a bit of fun. Maybe a distraction like a potty for your childs favourite doll or teddy for the t bathroom.  Favorite books or maybe even a star chart can help.

How to respond to ‘accidents’

The most important thing  is to respond to accidents with calmness not crossness. Mistakes are how we learn and we make mistakes and need make it safe for our child to make a mistake; knowing that that’s how they learn.

Have a bit of fun!

David Coleman suggests a few cereal pieces into the toilet bowl to encourage your child to try to sink them. Otherwise, a drop or two of blue food coloring means their wee will turn the colour to green! Children love to learn as long as their is no threat of criticism, which will only make them go into avoidance or reduce self esteem; so keep up the encouragement!

Patience & calmness is crucial

Readiness on the child’s part is crucial; that they are interested and this increases the possibility of the training going well. Lots of patience showing them how to sit on the potty, maybe with teddy on his own potty beside them.  Encourage your child to sit on the potty at key times maybe with a book or toy. A star chart is a great reminder to parents to keep up the positive encouragement, support that your child needs.

Accidents will happen but remember not to get cross. A key point is that if there are more accidents than successes; perhaps you have begun the process a little early and it may be necessary to leave it for a while. Above all, be calm and patient, remembering the more positivity you give your child; the greater the chance of a successful potty training!