When it comes to potty training, there’s one thing most parents can agree upon – it’s extremely hard work! Getting your little one used to taking off their diaper and relieving themselves in a potty is a lot harder than it seems.
If you’re trying desperately to potty train your toddler but nothing seems to be working, or if you’re simply thinking about starting, here you’ll discover 10 top tips that can help ease the transition.
1. The Art Of Music
Music is a powerful thing. It’s known to have a direct effect on the mood, even managing to ease the symptoms of depression. It isn’t just adults that music can work wonders for either – it’s also a fantastic motivator and mood enhancer for children. So how can it help with potty training? Well, quite simply it turns potty time into fun time.
One inventive way of adding music to the equation is by making up your own unique potty song. Whenever it’s time for your little one to use the potty, you can then build them up to it using the unique song you have created. You could even create a separate song that you can sing after they have successfully used the potty. Music is fun and you’ll be surprised how quickly your child associates potty time with music time. The more enjoyable you can make the experience, the less likely they are to resist.
2. Invest In Potty Books
Another way to turn potty time into fun time is to use picture books. Think about how much your little one enjoys bedtime stories. It’s often one of their favourite times of the day. So why not use their love of reading to make going to the potty a lot more enjoyable? There are plenty of books available solely on the topic of potty training.
You could even take them shopping and let them choose their own picture books to use. Be sure to explain these books are solely to be used for potty time and keep them hidden away until they’re needed. This will help incentivize them to want to use the potty, especially if they really like the books.
3. Half-hour Intervals
One of the biggest questions parents have is how often should they be trying to use the potty? When just starting out, it helps to place your little one on the potty every half an hour until they’ve successfully gone to the bathroom. It is also worth following the general rule of placing them on the potty after every meal.
4. It’s All About Patience
Potty training is difficult even for the most patient parents. Even when you manage to get your little one to use the potty on a more regular basis, accidents are still likely going to happen every now and again. Many toddlers regress and appear to forget everything they have learned for a short time period. This is completely natural, though it doesn’t make it any less frustrating!
Whatever stage of the potty training you’re at, you need to remember that patience is most definitely a virtue! As long as you are persistent, they will get the hang of it eventually.
5. Never Get Angry Over Accidents
As just mentioned, accidents do happen when you’re trying to potty train. It might not be very pleasant walking into a room to discover a large wet puddle five minutes after trying to get your little one to relieve themselves on the potty. However, if you get angry, what you could unknowingly end up doing is making your child associate going to the toilet as a bad thing.
They won’t necessarily differentiate between going to the toilet in the kitchen and on the potty. So instead they’ll associate going to the bathroom as a negative thing no matter where they are doing it. Instead, say something along the lines of “oops never mind, let’s try to pee in the potty next time”.
6. The Power Of Treats
Good old fashioned bribery works wonders with potty training. Whenever they use the potty successfully, reward them. This could be with food or toys for example. Some parents even turn it into an exciting experience – filling a bag full of surprise items and allowing their child to choose one after they have used the potty.
7. Have Diaper-free Days
Now for this tip to work you need to be absolutely certain your child is ready for potty training! Many parents actually find it a lot easier to potty train their little ones naked first, before then moving on to learning to go when they are fully clothed. You could start by letting them play and run around while they’re naked just before bath time. Then encourage them to use the potty before they have a bath.
It’s worth pointing out not all children are happy about your decision for them to not wear a diaper and may kick up quite a fuss. If this happens, it’s a sign they aren’t ready to take this step yet and you should try again within a couple of weeks.
8. Consider A Toilet Training Seat
While the potty is more commonly used, some children find it a lot easier to use a toilet training seat. These typically come with little steps and fit over the toilet seat. They can be removed as and when needed. One of the main benefits of doing it this way is when it comes to switching from the potty to the toilet, it will be a lot easier if they’re used to getting in the toilet position.
Be aware that if you are potty training a boy this way, you will need to encourage them to sit down to go #2. They may get the hang of standing up to pee when they’re old enough, but it’s easy for them to forget about needing to go #2 and this in turn can lead to issues with constipation.
9. Let Them Be In Control
Part of being a toddler is learning to express what you want and more importantly, what you don’t want. A lot of potty training issues come from children feeling forced into it. If they feel like you’re in control and they have no say in the matter, they will be more likely to resist. However, if you let them feel like they are in control of when they use the potty, you’ll see a lot more success.
10. Invest In Trainer Pants
Trainer pants are fantastic when it comes to potty training. They are easier for your child to pull up and down when they do decide to go to the potty. They also tend to soak up less urine so if your child does pee with them on, they will be more aware of the wetness and start to recognise more when they need to go to potty.
Overall potty training can be a nightmare. It’s something that takes a lot of time, patience and dedication. Many parents recommend waiting to attempt to potty train until at least 18 months, as prior to that your little one has no control over their muscles. Here’s hoping by utilizing these tips, you’ll find quick success in the difficult task of potty training!