The process of toilet training takes time (patience!) and is gradual. These general tips may help you in your toilet training journey. However, since every child is different, you may discover other simple ways to get the job done.
- Introduce toileting as a fun thing.
First of all, introduce the very idea of getting potty/toilet trained as a fun activity for your toddler. Introduce it as a happy change from getting cleaned on the change table to getting cleaned after the potty.
- Familiarise your toddler with the place.
You can do so by familiarising them with the toilet as a place that is used by you as well as the other members of the family. Let them know and understand that this activity is part of the family’s daily life and needs to be incorporated in their schedule as well.
- Do not show any aversion.
The sight or smell of your baby’s potty may be a little uncomfortable for you but I’m sure you’ve had plenty of desensitizing through all the nappies you’ve had to change up until now. If you show this aversion however, it may convey negative vibes to your toddler. They may not want to upset you and as a result the whole process of potty training can become slightly difficult.
- Set up a toilet routine.
Set a routine for toileting as soon as your toddler accepts to sit on the toilet for their bowel and bladder movements. You can take them to the toilet as soon as they get up in the morning. You can do the same before their bath and before bedtime.
- Avoiding wet beds.
If you are prepared to take off your toddlers night time nappy, be prepared for wet beds. While it’s difficult to avoid perhaps in the beginning, to help prevent bed-wetting you may want to take them to the toilet once in the night.
- Take books or toys into the toilet.
One smart idea to toilet train your toddler is to get some interesting picture books for them and stack them next to the toilet seat in the toilet. Make these books accessible to them whenever they are on the toilet.
- Rewards and surprises.
Rewards can encourage your toddler to get toilet trained. For instance, you can start with simple rewards like star stickers on the board for every successful attempt. Praise your toddler whenever the task of toileting is accomplished. Talk to others in the family about the toddler’s success in their presence. This really encourages them to be better at it. Appreciate your toddler whenever they succeed at toileting. For instance, you can clap for your toddler’s performance, sing to them and even ask the others to do the same.
- Let your toddler take charge.
Allow your toddler to use the toilet whenever they want to and for as long as they want. Let them watch you using the toilet. They may also gradually understand that mum not only takes them to the toilet, but also uses it for herself.
- Use the right clothes.
While you are potty training your toddler, try to make your toddler wear clothes that can be easily and quickly opened or pulled down whenever it is needed.
- Don’t start too early.
It’s important to wait until your toddler shows signs of being ready to toilet train. Toilet training involves physical, cognitive and behavioural skills. Not only does your toddler need to understand the process and want to learn, but their body also has to be at a stage where their bowel muscles are strong enough to be controlled. Starting too early may mean more accidents which can make it more difficult to show patience and understanding. This in turn can make toilet training a negative experience and potentially sabotage the process instead of supporting it.