Ah – toilet training. Every parent’s favourite time. Ahem. But despite times when you think they’ll never get the hang of the toilet, they eventually will – and remember, a life without nappies is infinitely easier. Try our five top tips to get your child peeing happily into the toilet before you know it.
Get the right equipment
A big toilet might seem scary to a small child, so invest in a potty or a seat adaptor (and perhaps a stool!). Talk this over with your child to see which he would prefer. Some children like to go straight for the toilet, while others might be captivated by the idea of having their very own toilet. Make a big deal of getting it, unpacking it and letting your child sit on it (with the nappy on at first)
Make it visible
The next step is to make your toilet choice visible and talk about it. If your child sees it, she’s more likely to want to keep trying it. Encourage her to sit on it at certain times of the day, for instance, after mealtimes and before bathtime. Start by sitting on it with clothes on, before removing the nappy and letting us get used to sit on it in her bare skin. If your child is scared, leave it for a few weeks before trying again.
Consider using training pants
Training (“pull-up”) pants are great for the early stages of potty training as they allow your child to take on and off their underwear for the potty, but if they have an accident it doesn’t really matter. Once they are trying the potty regularly, however, some parents find that it’s better for them to feel when they’ve had an accident.
Encourage and praise…
When your child manages to do something in the toilet or potty, no matter how small, make a huge deal of it. Nothing encourages a child like praise and positive reinforcement. Just don’t make a big deal out of every time he sits on the potty – this could backfire and make him feel nervous and self-conscious.
…But stay patient
Some children pick up the potty/toilet very quickly, but others may take longer and even regress. The key is to wait to start toilet training until they are absolutely ready, accept that there will be accidents and setback, encourage and praise every little breakthrough, and know that the time for ditching the nappies completely WILL come – and sooner than you think!