Those two words will bring up a wide range of emotions to every parent.
Luckily for us, with the aid of the internet, there are a ton of resources available to use online. From articles to videos to forums where fellow parents ask for help. We’ve searched for hours to find the best tips, and have put together a compilation of them so you don’t have to!
Firstly, the NHS offers an article titled “How to potty train” which can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/babys-development/potty-training-and-bedwetting/how-to-potty-train/
“It’s best to take it slowly and go at your child’s pace. Being patient with them will help them get it right, even if you sometimes feel frustrated.” (NHS.com)
In terms of their age; By age 1, most babies have stopped doing poos at night By age 2, some children will be dry during the day, but this is still quite early. By age 3, 9 out of 10 children are dry most days - even then, all children have the odd accident, especially when excited, upset, or absorbed in something else. By age 4, most children are reliably dry during the day.
When to start potty training?
Most children will not want to go to school in nappies, so between 2 and 2 and a half, is the most common time to start.
Some parents will find it easier to start potty training in the summer (as there are fewer clothes to take off and wash, and clothes dry quicker).
Try potty training when life is consistent with no distractions, to avoid confusion.
Getting ready for potty training?
Start changing nappies in the bathroom at home, so your child begins to associate the bathroom as the place to go when they need to use the toilet. Another tip is to ask your child to flush the toilet and wash their hands with you, so they begin to learn those skills too after using the bathroom.
Leave the potty in a visible place, so your child is not fearful of the new object. Another tip is to leave the potty in the downstairs bathroom, so your child can use it easier whenever they wish.
You may even wish to leave toys or a book by the potty, so your child has something to look at to help them sit still on the potty, to begin with.
How to start potty training?
If your child regularly goes at the same time each day, leave their nappy off around at this time, and suggest they use the potty. If this suggestion upsets your child, put their nappy back on and leave it for a few more weeks and try again.
Use the potty for everything (not just for poos) as this will help build your child's confidence using it.
If your child does have an accident, don’t make a huge fuss. This may lead to your child becoming anxious and worried about using it.
Additionally, praise your child for using the potty. The NHS recommends not giving sweets as a reward, instead of using stickers on a chart that can be kept in the bathroom to praise and reward your child for doing well.
Using washable potty training pants can help teach your child how to swap into “grown-up” pants when they’re ready. Encourage your child to keep their training pants dry, and to use the potty.
Night-time potty training tips?
Focus on potty training during the day. Once they have that down, then they may be ready for night-time potty training.
Get your child to use the potty right before bed.
Using waterproof sheets may be a good idea to protect the bed mattress.
Like day training, praise your child for success but don't overdo it.
If accidents happen regularly, continue to use nappies at night for a few weeks and then try again.
Potty training with a disabled child?
It may be more difficult to learn to use the potty or toilet for children with a long-term illness or disability. These links below will provide a parent’s guide on potty training with a disabled child, along with a contact website for further support.
Toilet or the potty?
Some children may prefer to use the toilet over the potty. This is fine, and a child’s trainer seat may help! These seats clip onto the toilet and can help make your child feel safer and more confident on the toilet.
Getting a child’s trainer seat along with a mini step will help, as it will allow your child to rest their feet on the ground, get in a good position to use the bathroom, and help them remain more comfortable.
If you'd like to use a Potty Training Chart we have designed 3 different layouts - so let your child pick out which one they prefer to make the training more enjoyable and interactive for your child! Feel free to download these here
If you’d prefer to watch a video check out the latest WhatsUpMoms video; Potty Training! (Ep.21) which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eob-lYnfx68 . There are a ton of useful videos on YouTube, however, this video provides a ton of unique tips and tricks that may help (Including using whiteboard markers on the potty to allow your children to draw over their potty to get more familiar and less scared about it)
If you'd prefer to use music, Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes published "Potty Training Song", which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH2Sm0Wj3Dw .
Toddler Fun Learning also published "Princess Polly's Potty" another Potty Training Video for Toddlers you may find helpful, which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwJ8SFDFEP0.
In summary, patience and praise are key elements to having a successful journey into potty training your child. We wish you the best of luck, and hope this article has helped. If you are still struggling, please don’t hesitate to ask a member of our staff, or send us a message either in the comments below or privately using our Contact Us Page (https://www.ducklingspreschool.co.uk/contact) and we’d be more than happy to help however we can!