Summer is often the season we start to think about potty training /earning. Nice weather is good for extra washing and your little ones are out in the garden, so you have fewer worries about your carpets.
Is my child ready?
You are the expert in your own child and no one else can tell you when your child is ready, but there are a few things to look out for.
• Are your little one’s nappies drier for longer periods of time? If using cloth, you may find your usual nappy isn’t containing the wee so easily, flooding the nappy. This is because as their bladders mature they have more control, so wee becomes less frequent but greater in volume.
• Your child may start to develop an interest in routine and process, such as the washing routine. Washing goes in, machine goes on, washing get hung out to dry.
• An increase awareness of your toilet habits, asking questions and this should all be encouraged.
• Remember all children are ready at different times and this is perfectly normal.
Once you have decided the time is right to take the plunge, you need to get organised. You may wish to involve your child in some aspects of the preparation but remember you don’t want to make a big deal of it.
• Buy a couple of potties, one of upstairs and one for downstairs. Just the normal run of the mill potty. It doesn’t need to play a tune, the toilet doesn’t!
• A book about using the potty is always helpful.
• A stool for using the toilet.
• Children learn by watching so allow them in to the bathroom when you are using the toilet.
• Pants, this is a nice one for your child to help with. They can choose their favourite colour and character. Do this as close to the start day as you can, they will want to wear the immediately.
• Training pants can be useful for extra confidence of you are out and about. But they only hold a dribble. If you want more absorbency have a look at something like Close Parent Night time pant – the name doesn’t mean you can’t use them at daytime.
Your all ready to go!
• To start get them used to the feel of sitting on the potty. You can keep pull-ups or training pants on at this stage if you prefer, talking them through the transition to pants.
• Have lots of books near the potty for them to access.
• Involve your child in choosing the pants they want to wear, and it is sometimes easier just to have pants without trousers, or even to start with a bare bum.
• Encourage them to sit on the potty at regular intervals, especially after meals and drinks.
• When they have success in the potty – praise them, or even have a wee dance.
• Don’t forget the hand washing, this is better done at a sink not with wipes or antibacterial gels. You want to set good habits in place from the start.
• Just keep up the routine – it is easier done at home. If you are going out perhaps choose a friend who will have a potty or take one with you. Don’t forget a change of clothes and an absorbent pad for the car seat.
• Don’t attempt potty learning if there had been a momentous change in the house such as a new baby, or a house move.
• Wait until your child is dry during the day before attempting night. Mattress protectors are a must.
• Stay calm, accidents will happen, losing your temper will only set the process back.
• Be patient and remember to teach you little girl to wipe from front to back. They won’t be able to do it for themselves until around 4, but it is important to lay down the concept.
• If the time is not right for your child, stop, and wait a few months.