If you are going through Potty Training at the moment these tips I hope will help. We managed to potty train Lily in just a week. From speaking to other mums that seems to be pretty good! Here I’ve put a list together with some tips:
1. The Basics
Get LOTS of potties. It’s handy if you don’t have to run around looking for one when you may need it quickly. An accident can also set your child’s confidence back as well. Buy one for upstairs, one for downstairs, one for grandparents house, one for the car (preferably a travel potty) and a toilet seat. My favourite potty of ours is the Pourty. The Pourty is designed so that when you’re pouring the contents down the loo it doesn’t spill out. It has a built in funnel type design which means no more wee spilling out all over the place. It’s also handy to have a travel potty, we bought the Potette Plus which is a bit weird at first as they basically do their business in a carrier bag. However it does the job, and it’s small enough to fit in my overfull changing bag!
2. Potty Training Related Books
Children naturally love books. So they can be great ways to introduce new ideas and worked wonders for us with potty training. The two books we went for were Even Princesses Poo: a slightly strange book and some dodgy rhymes in there, but it comes with a reward chart and stickers which were a massive hit. We also bought Princess Polly Potty which was a better story and has a button to press which cheers.
3. A Reward Chart
You can either buy one, or if you are the creative type you could make your own. It may help to get your child involved and explain what it’s going to be for, they’ll have great fun sticking things on and colouring it in. I decided even though it was tempting to use stickers rather than sweets, as it is just healthier.
4. Praise Praise Praise
Make a big fuss and talk about how amazing it is whenever they go to the loo. It might feel over the top but it really helps. This is where the reward chart also comes in. I’m a big believer in getting messages through to children using praise rather than with discipline. With potty training I feel this is even more important, there will be accidents along the way but always stay positive.
5. Talk About It!
It- being poo and wee! So many people are awkward about the subject. To prevent any later problems such as constipation or urine infections (I had these when I was a child due to feeling uncomfortable about toilet habits). It is natural, everybody does it, and it will help make them feel secure enough to go if you are more relaxed about it. Say mummy poos, daddy poos. Make it normal.
6. When They’ve Got To Go They’ve Got To Go
As soon as they tell you they need the loo, grab the potty. Even if you’re out and about don’t make them wait whilst you pay at the checkout when they’re just learning. Explain quickly to the person serving you, find the nearest toilets and go back to pay afterwards. You don’t want accidents if you can help it as it may embarrass the child and make them feel insecure. This is also where having lots of potty’s around helps. When we had just started potty training Lily we had to pull over when in the car so that she could go for a wee. It was inconvenient of course but when they’re learning they don’t know how to hold it in and wait.
7. Mr Poo
At one point as I mention in my previous post Potty Training: How I potty trained my 2yr old in a week we had trouble getting Lily to poo. She felt scared to poo in the potty, but knew she wasn’t meant to poo in her nappy either. She would run around clearly uncomfortable after not pooing for a few days scared to do a poo. Until we gave her poo a name. We started calling him “Mr Poo” (unimaginative I know and totally weird). Saying “Mr Poo wants to come out your bum and go off to Pooland” as bizarre as it sounds seemed to really work. Then flushing it down the loo to “Pooland” together. It sounds ridiculous but it worked! After a while she would tell me that Mr Poo needed to come out, and it become better.
Teach girls to wipe from front to back. Get in to the routine of them going on the potty then standing up and telling them you are wiping front to back, this will help them learn for when they do it themselves. Also invest in a step so they can wash their hands afterwards.
If you have tried all of these tips and are still struggling then it may be best to go back to nappies and try again in a few months. All children are different, don’t feel pressured to have them potty trained by a certain age if they’re not ready.