Potty training can be one of the most challenging periods of the toddler years. Of all the trials and tribulations you will face as the parent of a young child, ones involving excrement are not only amongst the messiest, but also the most labour intensive.
Rest assured that almost everyone has successfully been potty trained, and the resulting wealth of knowledge and tips can be easily shared, which will hopefully save you on time and trouble in the process.
Potty training basics
Potty training can take occur anywhere between the ages of 18 months and 4 years — with various sources claiming that successful potty training can take place as young as 14 months! Although every child is different, you will need to see for yourself just how ready your child is. All experts agree, if your child isn’t ready to be toilet trained, then you are fighting a futile battle. Potty training generally involves slowly transitioning from nappies, to pull-ups and eventually nothing at all.
Tips and tricks for painless potty training
- Make it sneaky: Long before you intend on potty training, you can bring the potty into your home and encourage your little one to sit on it, read them a story, talk or even play with them. The idea is to make the potty a less threatening presence in your home.
- Make it fun: Make up your own nonsense potty training songs, and sing along heartily whenever your little one manages to go successfully.
- Make a big deal out of big girl/big boy pants: Children in this age group just love to feel as though they are doing something adult; big boy/girl pants are a real achievement for a toddler and you should emphasize this as much as possible.
Other ideas / approaches
- Naked potty training: The idea here is that your child learns the inconvenience that accidents create first hand. Many parents swear by this approach, which can be adapted to suit every home.
- Add fibre: If your little one is holding in their poop, a sneaky trick is to add more fibre into their diets. Prunes, apple juice and other high fibre foods will ensure that holding it in is far more difficult.
- Add story time: Make story time on the potty a habit and make potty time an enjoyable highlight to their day.
- Making a game of it: One mum added a few cheerio’s to the bottom of her little boys’ potty and encouraged him to aim for them. Turning potty training into a game helped her to potty train him with minimal fuss.
There is no need to suffer through fuss and mess when your child is ready to be potty trained, use some of these tips and watch your child take their first steps towards independence!