Getting your child toilet trained and out of nappies is a huge milestone – but nothing can prepare YOU for how frustrating the process is.
You would think your toddler would be as keen as mustard to stop walking around with a little parcel in their nappy, but many little ones are hesitant to learn to use the loo.
There are a few approaches you can take to toilet training, the slow and steady or the full-on ‘stay home for three days until they get it’ method. There are benefits and downsides to both but before you start here’s a few things to keep in mind.
Tips to keep in mind BEFORE you start toilet training your toddler
1. Do not listen to other people’s opinions
Only YOU know when your child is ready to get out of nappies so do you best to ignore the pressure others put on you. Daycare teachers, parents, old ladies at the supermarket and keyboard warriors will all have an opinion about the age you should have your child out of nappies. In my experience sometimes children who are a little older catch on quicker and have fewer accidents in the long run. But again, you decide on what’s best for you and your family.
2. They fear falling down the loo
Being sucked down the toilet is an actual fear of many toddlers, well that and the fact they probably haven’t seen what their ‘waste’ looks like before. Sometimes getting a smaller portable potty is a good way to start toilet training because it’s less intimidating than a big toilet. You can also take it wherever you go.
3. Choose your timing
If you’ve got a holiday planned or something else is changing in your child’s life it might be best to hold off on toilet training for a little while. Consistency is the key and this isn’t always possible when you’re going to be attending lots of birthday parties or are expecting visitors.
4. It might not be as easy as you think
Go into toilet training with a positive attitude but just be mindful that you will need a huge amount of patience because one day they’ll be great and the next they’ll wee on the floor 5 times. Setbacks are just part and parcel of the process and it’s worth remembering that before you start. If you’re going through a rough patch, are sick, have PMS or there’s other stressful things going on in your life maybe wait a few weeks.
5. Get a stack of rewards to give them
If your child is particularly fascinated with a particular toy or book then buy a few goodies to give them as a reward for when they do their business in the potty or loo. You could give them a sticker or a treat every time they try and keep a bigger reward for when they have a success. Find something that works and don’t be shy to bribe them, it really works and eventually they’ll stop asking for treats and just do it.
Remember it’s a big deal for your toddler but be mindful that toilet training won’t happen overnight no matter how much you want it to. Good luck and we feel your pain!