When it comes to potty training, parents all over the world can get so frustrated. I know from experience not only as a parent, but from my nannying days and working in daycares and nurseries. Potty training process can begin to feel like you are losing a battle of wills.
Some children pick it up quicker than others, other children are more stubborn, I have one of those lol!!
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Deciding When To Start
There is no right or wrong time to start. And certainly no time scale when you should have your child trained.
Regardless of when you start the process of toilet training, if your child is ready, they will pick it up very quickly!
A child is around 18 months when their physical development will eventually allow them to control their bladder and bowel. However most infants take a little bit longer (up to a year longer) until they can recognize that they need to go.
Learning From Experience
I tried the whole training process with my son when he turned 2. It was going well for like a week and then we hit a wall. The experience became less of a novelty and he had no interest whatsoever. Its not that there were accidents. That we could have handled. He just refused to sit on the potty and ‘try’ so instead of stressing myself or him out- we postponed it.
Fast forward to a year later and BAM! He got it right away. Sure we had the odd accident and he still needed the reminders consistently but this time around we were both determined. He was ready and he was able to communicate to me a little better so it definitely helped.
Communication can be Key
Thats not to say that your child won’t pick it up quicker, after all each child is different to the next. But it certainly helps when your child can tell you when they need to go.
My daughter is the most stubborn out of my children. But when she decided she wanted to be a big girl, she stuck with it and we managed to accomplish it within 2 weeks!! I dont like to differentiate between boys and girls and I certainly don’t think boys should get bad rep for the whole toilet training process. However from past experience of working with children, Ive found that girls do seem to pick it up quicker.
Most parents decide to start potty training to get rid of diapers/nappies. Not only are they not very environment friendly, they certainly add to the expense of your weekly shop!
Of course you may just decide that your child is ready and it is time.
So WHEN is the right time?
There are many pointers to think about when deciding to start training. Your child may tell you themselves that they want to go on the toilet/potty. Or they may decide that they don’t like wearing diapers anymore, like my daughter.
Is it a good time to start? Are there any distractions in life that may delay training? A new baby in the family or a house move can sometimes disrupt things.
When you do decide to train there are a few steps that need to be taken along the way. Some of these are crucial to successful potty training and will help along the way!
Here are some that I found helpful;
- Take your child to buy big boy/girl underwear. They can choose their own characters or colours. This can make a huge difference in gearing up their enthusiasm to start!
- Get them familiar with the potty/toilet. Have the potty around the house and get them to sit on it just to try it out.
- Let your child see you on the toilet. Taking away any shame or embarrassment to what is a natural part of life. Everybody pees and poops!
- Teach them the whole process of toilet training, including good hygiene and washing hands.
- Try to start the training when the weather is warmer. It is a lot easier to get to the toilet when kids don’t have many layers of clothes on. Also keeping clothes less complicated, no buttons or clothes that are more difficult to pull down.
- If the weather is warmer and you are home, allow your child to run around without a diaper.
- Take note of how much liquid your child is having. If they are drinking lots, they will undoubtedly need to pee more often.
- Look out for signs, like dancing around or holding their crotch.
- Be consistent! Ask your child often if they need to pee.
- Give them HUGE praise when they do pee or poop. This is so important and can really encourage them.
Reward charts are a very good tool when training and can give your child an aim or a goal. Even the thought of a treat or a reward can spur them on lol! 🍭🎁
You can download one of my FREE PRINTABLE potty charts below!! ⬇️⬇️
What about getting outside?!
Don’t become housebound when training! Kids need to get outside and regardless of whether you are home or out and about, your child will have the odd accident.
Invest in a travel potty! Honestly these things are a life saver when training. You can get all kinds of bells and whistles on these things. Here is one similar to the one we used for our children.
Things to Remember
- Accidents WILL happen. And this is okay, it’s all part of the training process. Children need to know what it feels like to be wet and with diapers they can’t experience that. Just remember that none of us are perfect at getting things right away, even as adults and potty training is no different.
- Don’t get too discouraged or stressed. It’s a learning process and consistency and patience will help you both get through it.
- Reward and lots and lots of praise! Kids love to know they are doing a good job at something so you cheering them on and giving them small rewards will egg them on.
- Give your child some privacy. Some kids can be shy when going to the toilet. So long as they know you aren’t far away in case they need help, its always good to give them privacy.
- Teach them how to wipe. My daughter is 4 years and she still needs help but its important to show them the correct way to wipe, especially girls (front to back)
Pull Ups-Yes or No??
Some parents choose to use pull ups when training. We did for our son and although they were good for car trips and traveling, they personally made things take longer. I assumed they would be like big kid pants and encourage my child to go and use the toilet when he needed.
But when it came to the crunch they honestly didn’t make much difference and sometimes made accidents more of a pain for clean up- especially the poops. 😬
And while we are on the subject of pooping- this may take longer for your child to get the hang of. For some kids, the pooping will come before the other and that is great. Certainly makes things easier when training.
However most children are afraid to poop on the toilet/potty and it will often take a few times to get used to it. My son had some issues with this side of things and it wasn’t fun but we got there in the end. Encouragement is key!
Night Time Training
Night time training may take slightly longer and that is completely normal. Some children are fully trained and then will wet the bed random nights. This is also completely normal.
Make sure that you put your child on the toilet before they go to bed, and even through the night if it helps to break the cycle.
Don’t give your child too much liquid before bed. This certainly doesn’t help!
Here are some cute potty training books that you can use to make training fun for toddlers. Story books are always a good tool when learning life experiences.
*Remember there is no right or wrong time for your child to be trained. Communication is the key and persistency. You may feel like some days are hopeless and your child will never get it, but they will get there. As will you! Good Luck! You got this 😉
Below you will find some FREE potty training tools that will help to motivate your child. We used charts and I found it a successful tool.
The rewards can start off small. Use smarties for each toilet visit and give them a sticker to put on their chart. When my two became fully fledged big kids, we took a trip to the toy store. This made my kids very happy and proud of themselves! ❤️ There is also a certificate for a keep sake!
Sign up for our FREE PRINTABLE POTTY CHARTS & CERTIFICATE BELOW ⬇️
Download for FREE Potty Training Reward Charts!
Grab your potty training reward charts here and start that training today!