Potty training. Most parents shudder at the thought. You hear the tales from other parents, but they got through this milestone and so will you. Have no fear, it really is not that bad, here are some tips to help you get through.
Most parents start thinking of potty training around the 18 month to 2 year mark. We stress that there is no perfect time to potty train as this will depend on your child. Be patient and take your cue from them for potty training success. We outline some other tips for you below.
Decide whether you are ready for this. Choose a time when you are mentally ready for this experience. An upcoming move, a stressful work project or a new baby's arrival may not be the best time. Most people spend 2 or 3 days potty training, so set aside a weekend where you can devote time to ditching the diapers.
2. Never force
The most important thing is to never force your child until they are ready. Many experts say that there are a number of signs that your little one will show when they are ready to start potty training. Keep an eye out for the signs and monitor their behaviour. If you decide to try and then think its too soon just try again in a few months time.
3. Pick your potty
There are many options for choosing a potty that will suit you and your lifestyle. Some parents prefer the portability of a free standing potty. Others prefer something that will fit onto the toilet so that their little ones get used to using the toilet. Have a look at the Bambino range to choose the best option for you.
4. Praise and rewards
If you are excited about the process then your little one will be excited too. Parents needs to be supportive and praise all the good instead of punishing any accidents. Some parents use different reward systems, while others feel like this is a form of bribery. Offering rewards like a sweet every time they use the potty or create a star chart with toys as a prize can be great incentive.
There are many great free potty training reward charts like the one below. By visually seeing their progress and the goal many children feel more confident.
5. Lose the clothes
Experts advise that the easiest way to potty train is to let your little one go pants-free for a few days. This is the best way to be able to see and stop an accident as it happens. Your child does not have to be completely naked - choose what you feel comfortable with.
6. Stock up on supplies
You have to be mentally prepared that there will be accidents, and you will need to clean these up. Get all the cleaning supplies ready for those times. If you are going to keep your little one in underwear while training, ensure that you have a few clean pairs at your disposal. Some parents also suggest using plastic protecters under the sheets until your little one masters night time potty training.
7. Patience is a virtue
It can be very difficult to keep a cool head while your little one potty trains, but remember they are learning this skills for the first time. It can be very important to keep persevering without too much frustration. Your little one will pick up on your vibes and if you make potty training an issue you may find it harder to get them out of nappies in the long run. Remember that they won't be in nappies for long and it will happen when they are ready.
8. Don't compare
As a parent it is important that you do not push your child to be like the neighbour's kids. Every child learns at their own rate and you need to ensure that you don't compare your child to others. It does not mean that you are a bad mom because your 3 year old is not potty trained yet.
9. Potty Talk
Open the conversation on potty talk and make sure that your little one is comfortable discussing the potty. You have to get your child to be comfortable discussing various aspects of potty training. Be prepared to ask your child, what feels like a million times a day, if they need to potty.
Best of luck with your potty training adventures - we would love to hear your stories!