When is my child ready? So, this is the most common question I am asked. Children generally start potty training when they get to around 2.5-3yrs of age. Girls seem be to slightly quicker than boys. In years gone by we used to potty train children from when they quite little- from around 18 months of age, however it was a long and drawn out process due to lack of understanding from the child, so the advice was to potty train when they are ready/older, thus the process will be quicker and more age-appropriate. You WILL know when your child is ready, there will all sorts of signs so trust your instinct on this one as well.
Are They Ready -
• Do you find their nappies are dry for a longer time during the day?
• Can they follow simple instructions?
• Can they dress themselves- pulling up trousers/ tights etc.?
• Do they tell you they have done a wee or poo in their nappy and come to find you?
• Are they relieved to be changed, rather than resisting as when they were a baby?
• Are they visibly uncomfortable with a wet/ soiled nappy?
• Do they hide when doing a poo?
What You’ll Need-
• Pants! Lots and lots of pants… If you think you have enough, buy some more!
• A cupboard of ready to wear socks and trousers
• A potty for home (nothing too low/ near the ground) so it is comfortable for sitting.
• A travel potty – The Potette is great
• A child’s toilet seat to go on the adult toilet seat eventually
• Flushable wipes (Kandoo for example)
• Napisan (for washing)
• Spray Cleaner & Kitchen Roll
• Children’s magazines & Stickers (as rewards)
• Sticker charts or pasta collecting jars for ‘wee-wee’ rewards (painting the pasta shells different colours and sprinkling glitter on them makes them more valuable!)
• PATIENCE! Tonnes of it
• Praise your toddler when they do their first wee or poo! A wee-wee dance/ song- anything goes!
• Reward them! Something sustainable until they get used to potty training- stickers, pasta shells, magazines. Chocolate and sweets can work but are not sustainableand children will often let out a succession of little wee’sonce they catch on they get a chocolate button each time! The clever little rascals!
• Do keep positive throughout this process- it will get better
• Do keep your toddler company on the potty for a while, they can feel very exposed in the first week. This process is completely new to them
• Do use ‘night-night’ pants- Pull-ups with stars/moon, this is so they can differentiate why we use pull ups at night.
• Don’t pressure your child into sitting on the potty and do not restrain them if they want to leave the potty. You can gently suggest they stay on the potty or give them a book or sit next to them and read to them.
• Don’t have them sitting on the potty for more than 15 minutes at a time
• Don’t punish them for wetting themselves or forgetting to tell you. When you clean up just say ‘That’s ok, doesn’t matter, try and tell Mummy/ Daddy next time’ and then get on with whatever you were doing before.
• Don’t make wincing faces or say anything when cleaning up poo or wee. We don’t want to make them feel it’s unpleasant- we need them to poo and not hold it in! This can start now when changing nappies – even if they do a particularly stinky nappy don’t show your distain at the changing table.
• Don’t feel any pressure yourself- all children are different and will potty train in their own time. This isn’t a reflection on their intelligence or capabilities
• Don’t restrict fluid intake. Be mindful they will need to wee more if they drink more… so perhaps offer the potty a little more often
• Don’t expect them to do poo’s on the potty for the first few days, this comes in time