Potty training can seem like a daunting process but as long as you time it right and keep your eye on the ball, it’s really not so bad.
If your child is showing the signs of being able to start potty training, for example they are telling you when they need to wee or poo, are going longer between nappy changes and are showing an interest in trying, then it’s time to get prepared.
If you want a stress-free, or to be more realistic a slightly less messy, process then you can’t just dive in to ditching the nappies.
When you’ve decided that your child is ready, here are the ways to prepare for getting started:
1. Buy fun undies
Take your toddler shopping with you and let them pick out underwear that they like. Try to get designs that are engaging for them, such as something with their favourite TV or book character in them.
This is all part of making it fun. If you engage them in every step of the process then they’re going to take to it so much easier.
Remember to be enthusiastic about it. I told my daughter these were her “big girl pants” and it meant she was growing up.
2. Let them pick out the potty
There are loads on the market so it’s easy to make this purchase fun too. Let your child pick the potty, or if you can’t find one they like then buy stickers and let them decorate it themselves.
This Peppa Pig one would be a hit: Peppa Pig Steady Potty with Non Slip Feet – Princess Peppa
3. Set up a reward system
Get some stickers. These can be whatever your child would enjoy the most. Every time your child uses the potty, let them pick out a sticker and put it on the reward chart.
To further incentivise your child you could say they get a prize after every five stickers. This could be something simple like a Jelly Baby or more extravagant, it’s up to you.
To download my free reward chart, sign up to my mailing list. I promise no spam, just content, and access to lots of free printables.
4. Explain it all to your toddler
Tell your toddler what you have planned. I knew when it came to my child that she prefers to know exactly what to expect.
So I started talking to her about it as soon as possible. I didn’t make a huge thing out of bringing up the subject, but I would mention her using the potty while she watched me using the loo (the joys of having kids!).
I told her she could try using a loo just like mummy and daddy and that she could have her very own potty to go to the toilet in. I found that prepared her well for what was about to come, rather than just abruptly removing her nappy one day and expecting her to get what she was supposed to do.
5. Familiarise them with the potty
Keep it somewhere they can see it. Obviously it’s not the nicest of things to have in your living room but making it a part of your every day lives before you actually ask your child to use it can make the transition easier.
6. Get your travel kit sorted
Accidents will happen no matter what you do, so get an absorbent or washable pad that you can put under your child in their car seat or pushchair. I have this one from Amazon: Koo-di Wetec Baby Seat Protector
Also the Potette travel potty is an absolute must-have. It can be used as a seat on the toilet so your child doesn’t fall in, or as a travel potty. It comes with bags that you hook onto the Potette to catch the wee or poo which you can then easily bin.
Its a potty training essential, check it out here: Potette Plus 2-in-1 Travel Potty
7. Buy some extra pairs of trousers
You will need lots and lots of changes of clothes for at home and going out.
Get some really cheap pairs of trousers as you may find yourself going through a lot of changes of clothes in the early days.
8. Strategise with your other half
Agree how you’re going to approach things with your other half before you get started. There’s no point in beginning potty training unless you’re going to be consistent with your child. If one of you is falling back on nappies all of the time or the other is not keeping up with the reward chart, it may confuse things.
Decide on which words you’re going to use to explain the process. For example I avoid anything negative like yucky, use “wee wee” and “poo poo”, and try to praise every single time.
Figure out what will work for both of you and agree on the process.
9. Get relatives and childminders on board
Whoever cares for your child needs to know that you’re potty training and be following the same guidelines as you.
It’s probably very simply stuff, but everyone has their own way of doing things. Share the reward chart with them, tell them where your child likes to have the potty, tell them to praise your child as much as possible, tell them the times of day they are most likely to need to go to the loo.
10. Get reading
There are lots of potty training books that are toddler-friendly. Pick one out and read it with your child. It can help them to visualise and understand what you’re going to be asking them to do.
This one from Amazon is great: P Is for Potty! (Sesame Street)
So those were my top tips for getting ready for potty training! Let me know if you have any questions, leave a comment below.
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