As a parent, potty training is something I have always dreaded. I’ve googled it like crazy over the last year trying to find tips on how to go about it and selfishly, how to make it easier for me. I don’t know why I’ve been so nervous about reaching this milestone.
I’ve been trying to introduce potty training to Fletcher for the last 6 months with no success so decided he definitely wasn’t ready, so I left it. He’s three now and I started thinking “oh my god, I’m still going to be changing his nappies when he’s 30”. Ridiculous I know.
Most of the kids at Fletchers nursery are potty trained and at parents evening a couple of months ago it was mentioned. I know of many toddlers who are younger than Fletcher who are already fully potty trained, day and night. So I guess I can say I’ve felt the pressure of getting it done.
The more you google it and ask other parents advice you’ll notice that every parent, website or blog will all say the same thing.
Recently I have reintroduced potty training to Fletcher and can honestly say, he’s now ready. He’s taken to it really well and I’m so proud of him. I’ve learned that it’s not going to be a quick process and that it’s not going to happen overnight but it’s also not as daunting as I first thought, I don’t know why I’ve been absolutely dreading it.
So here are my tips for potty training based on what I’ve learnt from google, other mums and Fletcher:
The most common and most important thing is to wait until they are ready. If they’re not ready then it’s not going to work and you’ll both get upset and stressed. Don’t worry about age, it’s not a competition. It may not seem like it but they will get there and they will be ready. It could just sink in one morning and take you by surprise.
Lots and lots of praise. This is definitely important I think. You’re bound to get excited anyway for those first few wee’s on the potty but making a huge fuss and giving lots of praise is an incentive for them to do it again. If you get excited, they get excited too!
Nappy free time. This one might just be a personal preference. I think it’s easier for them to just be able to quickly sit on the potty when they need to go instead of having to fiddle with pulling trousers and pants down first and then possibly by that point it’s too late. Of course, having to pull trousers and pants down will have to be introduced eventually.
Go shopping together for a potty. Fletcher was brought his first potty for his first Christmas by grandparents. It’s a cute duck potty that is like a mini toilet. He was actually quite scared of it. I think he found it quite daunting so when I decided to reintroduce potty training I took Fletcher shopping to chose his own potty. He thought it was great and he chose a basic Teletubbies potty.
Let them chose their pants. After a few days of potty training I decided it was time to introduce pants so I took Fletcher shopping for big boy pants. He was so excited and picked out Paw Patrol pants and dinosaur pants. He couldn’t wait to get home and put his big boy pants on! He went through a phase of telling everybody what pants he had on today, haha. Bless him.
Chose a suitable reward. Potty training is a big deal and a big milestone, one I think deserves to be rewarded for. Fletcher had been asking me for this Paw Patrol tower for weeks leading up to potty training so when we did start I thought it would be perfect. I’ll always remember how excited he was to go to the shop and get his tower. He played with it all day! I made it clear to him that it was because he was a big boy doing wee wee’s on the potty and that I was so proud of him and to keep it up.
Reassure them when they have accidents. Accidents are bound to happen and they might get upset but as long as you’re there to reassure them it’s ok and we can try again then it just makes it a bit easier for them.
Let them decorate their potty. You could buy some stickers for them to decorate their potty and really make it their own.
Sticker reward chart. I’ve seen a lot of potty training sticker charts in the shops and also a lot of parents on social media going down this route. Although this isn’t something we do I think it’s a great idea especially if your little one is into stickers.
Like anything with parenting it’s just about finding what methods work with your little one. Some things might work, some might not. Potty training definitely isn’t as bad as I first thought and to be honest I’m very surprised at how easy the process has been so far with Fletcher.