Making the transition from nappies to potties can be a long and frustrating process for both you and your child. It’s not something that can be mastered overnight and no doubt there will be a few accidents and tears along the way. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your child how to use a potty while also making it a positive experience. But before you start teaching your child how and when they need to go, you need to prepare them for all it entails. It can be a confusing time and they may even be frightened by the concept. So use these tips to make this learning experience stress-free and pave the way for success.
Get yourself prepared
There is no wrong or right way to potty train as each child will deal with it in their own unique way. Some will be eager to learn early on but some may not feel comfortable with it until they are a bit older. Some children will take to it easily whereas others may find it more challenging. Even if you have older children and have gone through this experience before, that does not mean that the methods you used previously will work. So you need to make sure you fully understand the process before you begin and prepare yourself for any eventuality. This is especially important if you have never had to do this before. You can use sites such as http://www.pottytrainingsolved.com. These sites are designed to give you useful tips and advice from experts and other parents. This research will help you spot the telltale signs such as an interest in the bathroom or staying dryer during night time. These are strong indicators that your child is ready to start learning more. Without knowing this beforehand you may be tempted to start introducing your child to toilet training before they are willing. This can make the experience stressful and upsetting. Plus they could start associating negative emotions with the bathroom. So do your research and wait until your child begins to exhibit the right signs.
Buy your potty in advance
Even if your child is not yet ready to learn, purchase a potty in advance has plenty of benefits. Ideally, you want a potty that is a practical size, which won’t fall over easily. It might also be wise to buy a potty seat too, just in case your child wants to learn on the toilet straight away. Make sure this is stable when attached and not too slippy. There are some fantastic potty options available for you to look at on sites such as http://www.mothercare.com. You never know which way they will go until they tell you, so having these bought in advance and ready to go will be perfect for you both. Once you have bought the potty or seat, store it in a place they can see every day. You could put it in a cupboard with their diapers or on the floor in your bathroom. This should reinforce the connection between the diapers and the potty and help them understand what they do. Even if they don’t question it, just having it around will make it seem less alien like when they start to learn.
Make the bathroom a fun place
This is an essential step in preparing your child for toilet training. Some children will find the bathroom a scary place and won’t always be willing to alter their current habits. So take the time to explore the bathroom together to show them how unscary it actually is. Let them flush the toilet by themselves and watch the water go down the train. Another fantastic thing you can do is sit them on top of the toilet, just to give them a feel of what it is like. Remember to praise them for being so grown up and mature. You can then show them the potty you have bought for them and what is it for. Let them pick it up, move it around and sit on it fully clothed. You could even encourage them to decorate it with stickers or write their name on it, to show that this is their property. Again remember to commend their good behaviour and use phrases such as ‘when you are ready’. You may find this experience makes them want to get started straight away. But even if it doesn’t the more positive you are, the happier they will be about starting later on. Never be disrespectful of their current habits or nappies as this could cause upset and resentment towards the potty.
Show them how it is done
Sometimes explaining something to a child is not as effective as showing them yourself. Depending on your personal preferences, you could teach them how to wipe, sit and flush or you could use a doll instead. Giving your child a demonstration of what they need to do when they start potty training again, will make the process seem less daunting. Alternatively, you could use a potty training book that is aimed at toddlers. You can find these online at http://www.amazon.com. Make sure the book you choose is easy to follow and has plenty of colourful pictures. Regardless of which technique you choose, make sure they fully understand what going to the toilet means. You can do this by encouraging them to teach their favourite teddy bear or doll how to use a potty. Seeing how easy it is will make them feel more in control and more open to the transition.
Encourage bathroom talk
To make the potty training process easier for your child, start getting into the habit of talking about going to the toilet. Create a phrase you and your child both know that indicates that they need to go to the bathroom. Even though they will still be wearing diapers, encouraging them to tell you when they need to go will be highly useful. Try not to use a phrase they might be embarrassed by and too difficult to say. You could also tell them when you need to go to the toilet and explain that it is something we all have to do each day. Remember to make it a positive sounding thing and never shout at them for telling you. Being negative about it will only make them feel more self-conscious and less likely to share with you. It will also make it harder to teach them how to potty train later on, as you won’t be able to predict when they need to go.
Don’t talk about it too much
Children can get bored very easily. So constant talk about the potty or bowel movements won’t do you any favours. If they lose interest and get bored easily, stop talking about it for a while. You might have got the signs wrong and your child may not be ready to start learning after all. Stick to a pace they are comfortable with and keep your talks and introductory methods short and sweet. Otherwise, they will associate toilet training with something that is boring and will be less inclined to start.
With these tips to help you, your child will feel ready to start potty training in no time. Remember that even though you feel prepared to start that doesn’t mean your child is. Always use phrases such as ‘big boys and girls use a different toilet’ and ‘soon you could go to the bathroom like Mummy’. This will give them some much-needed encouragement and make them eager to start their training.