Are you counting down the days to the toilet transition? Or maybe you’ve already dabbled in a few less-than-successful attempts? Either way , theres one thing I’m sure you’ve heard again and again: Your kid has to be good and ready. And don’t worry , he will be someday. “No child is going to graduate high school in diapers .
Every child is different . As with other things in life , never compare , so frustration doesn’t set in. Adam wasn’t ready until 30month (2.5 years) and even when he was , it was a lot of struggle getting it done right as a new mum . On the other hand , once Asher turned 20 months he started showing signs and interest in the potty business. Once i got the cue , i swung into action and i am totally glad that we did the most dreaded business of potty training in less than 5days which is why I am elated to share tips and tricks with all the beautiful mums who are either new to the business , working full time and extremely busy (so they don’t get frustrated and just give it up ) or even dads willing to take the bulk and help their wives (dads do it even better especially if its a male child) .Without further ado lets dive into the tips.
Timing is everything , wait till he / she is ready
It’s so easy to get caught up and worried that your child is a certain age and not there yet, which adds so much pressure and can turn the entire process into a near nightmare especially if your child is strong willed or maybe still battling the terrible two syndrome .
Watch out for readiness signs like
- Showing interest in the bathroom / potty chair
- Wanting to be changed promptly after pooping ,
- Watching sibling or parents potty
- Ability to follow simple and short instructions
My son Asher would ask a ton of questions about the bathroom , literally tussle his brother just to watch him use the toilet (Adam has become a big boy so wants his private toilet moments hehe).
Make your plan and prepare them
Don’t set yourself up for failure before you even start by not preparing your child mentally for the big job ahead . Its important to build up the excitement weeks ahead to your planned date . I planned to potty train Asher the weekend after his birthday , I and Adam then started telling him how he had to start pottying the BIG BOY way (the only word dear to him) after turning two , which meant “no more diapers” . Once he turned two , I pulled the diaper off and potty training took off immediately.
Daytime training is important : Focus on potty training during the day when the child is up especially on day one , and don’t worry about putting a nappy on during afternoon nap and bedtime , because eventually when they understand the feeling , they will start to wake up dry or wake you from sleep to pee or poo . With Asher once he got a full hang and understands the urge to use the toilet , by the third day he would wake up in the middle of the night and start screaming “i want to wee-wee” even with his diaper on…
Stay at Home : It is important that you stay at home during potty training , especially the first few days , because they need to be close to the potty at all times . You don’t want to be on the move and having to clean up mess . Its a recipe for frustration and failure -This is the reason I choose a weekend to start and round up Ashers’ training so i don’t loose my mind..
Fill them with fluid : This will increase how many times they go to pee , and gives them plenty of opportunity to practice , so you both don’t get frustrated going in and out of the toilet endlessly and nothing comes out …I had made some zobo drink for the house that week , so i just watered it down a bit more so Asher can be excited about the sweetness that he drinks so much without any struggles ,other alternatives are juice ,milk ,water etc…
Set a timer : For the first few days set a timer for 20 minutes. So take your child to the potty every 20minutes whether they say they wants to go or not! Just take them. What happens eventually is that they get a hang of the urge to wee or poo and they start to tell you when they need to go. Asher initially resisted the every 20minutes visit to the potty especially when he was watching TV so he would wee on his body while standing there (this is super frustrating especially just after refusing to pee on the potty) , I promise i didn’t smack him I just jejely moved the potty to the living room and I would put him on it every 20 minutes and read him a story or sing a nursery rhyme (for at least 5 minutes) while we are at it. Don’t be tempted to leave them on the potty endlessly by themselves watching TV (because this is so easy), they won’t pay attention to when they poo or wee and this defeats the entire purpose of the potty training..
Loose the distraction : Since you are filling them up with fluid and they will need to use the toilet any moment ,it only makes sense for you to be totally attentive and ready to pounce the second your child shows signs of needing to use the bathroom , else your entire house and mind will be a mess , so ditch the distraction . I had to turn off my phone (which i am kinda addicted to ) and computer through out the first day – Yet we still had accidents here and there , imagine if i was phone hugging or distracted with work on my computer !
Involve the older children
Its okay to recruit older siblings , cousins , friends etc to help with potty training as far as they are available and willing. Having Adam on my side during Ashers’ potty training was a blessing. I literally planned it all with Adam (Who is 5 years plus) and his reward was a little treat whenever his little brother successfully went potty in the right place. Adam totally loved the idea of being involved and then the icing on the cake (treat) – He just took over like it was a job , reminding and encouraging his brother to use the potty , to come with him to the toilet maybe he would also be induced to pee or poo and a literally asking him every now and then , if he wanted to pee and all ! I became so relieved knowing i had a capable brother to help ensure I don’t have to clean mess all the time.
Reward , Reward , Reward
Reward your child each time he uses the potty during this training period! Reward could be progress stickers , new toys , special character underpants , jumping up and down in excitement , some candy , endless praise etc . But remember to pick something that consistent with your style of parenting. With Asher what worked was :
- Lots of undivided attention
- positive reinforcement especially when he had misses and soil himself
- Love, affection and pride whenever he is successful .
Making a big deal about small steps of progress is key.
I hope you find this post helpful , as i said earlier every child is different and it is important to find what works for you and stick with it. This parenting journey is never a one way road , what’s important is that we remain responsive and dynamic to each childs’ needs , development and peculiarity.
What is your #1 tip for potty training ?
Need cute potty options to choose from ? Click here
Till next time…..
Be sure to follow me: