Are you gearing up to potty train your toddler but aren’t sure where to begin or if she’s actually ready?
I felt so overwhelmed at the thought of ditching the nappies for my daughter that I really botched potty training a few times.
I think I rushed to start, and then I wasn’t consistent enough with it for her. We had a lot of mess on the carpet, and there was a lot of extra washing to stick in the machine every day!
As a result, we had a few false starts to potty training my girl, which didn’t do her or me any favours at all!
Now I’m thinking about potty training my two-year-old, who has shown a lot of interest in using the toilet like her big sister. However for now I’m holding back, because I don’t think she’s quite there yet (I’ll explain why later in this post).
As I’ve been through a few false starts before finally succeeding in just a few days, I’ve got several key tips that will help you potty train your girl fast.
Potty training your toddler might seem daunting but it really doesn’t have to be too stressful.
Once you have decided you and your toddler are ready for potty training to begin, you can follow this easy five-step technique to keep things stress-free!
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Be sure your toddler is ready for potty training
It’s easy to make the mistake of rushing in to potty training, because you want to ditch nappies immediately. I totally get that, nappies are expensive and take up space.
However rushing ahead to potty training is pointless. Your child won’t catch on quickly, and they could end up hating the potty, which is going to make this an uphill battle.
They are ready if they tell you when their nappy is dirty, and they show an interest in using the potty. Have regular chats with them about using the toilet and you will get a sense for when they are up to the challenge.
You can read all about signs your child is not ready for potty training in this post.
Get the right kit
Planning ahead and arming yourself with the right tools will set you up for success.
In order to potty train your toddler, you don’t actually need LOADS of stuff. Don’t panic, it’s not going to cost you a fortune! However there are certainly a few items that are absolutely essential.
You will need:
Underwear – get your child to pick this out as it will help them get enthusiastic about ditching nappies.
A potty – of course this is the number one item you need to purchase! You can get potties that fit over the toilet seat. Your toddler will need a step to get up to the toilet if you do get one of these, as you want them to be able to use it themselves.
When choosing a potty, go for something fun that includes cartoon characters or colours that your child loves. Let them decorate it will stickers around the outside if they want to. Leave the potty around in the living room so that your toddler gets used to the sight of it.
A step for the toilet – You want your toddler to grow in independence as they ditch the nappy! Having a step for the toilet is a great investment, as they will get used to clambering up there on their own.
Pick something stable and lightweight. It can also be handy for helping them reach the sink when it comes to wash their hands. You may want to consider getting two potty steps, as well as two potties, one for upstairs and one for downstairs, depending on where the toilets are in your home.
A travel potty – this one is brilliant. It’s so handy to have and I’ve had to whip it out beside the road, at parks and in playgrounds.
I now keep my travel potty in the boot of the car, as we don’t need it when we’re visiting somewhere (we’re rarely anywhere that doesn’t have a toilet). When I am really stuck, I will just hold my daughter under her armpits while she squats down and has a wee behind a tree. Always keep your feet out of the line of fire. You will stand like a total idiot, but no one wants wee all over their shoes, haha!
You may also want to buy some pull-ups for nighttime. Your toddler won’t be dry at night for another couple of years, so they will still need to wear some form of nappy at night. Using pull-ups is a good idea as they’re just like underwear in the way your child takes them off and puts them back on again. This helps them get used to being nappy-free!
Speak to your child
Tell them before you start potty training about what is going to happen. Show them the potty and talk them through what using it will involve.
When you start training, remind your child to use the potty, but don’t do it every five minutes. They will just start to automatically say no (see below for how frequently to ask them to use the potty).
Have the potty close by and if your child wants to sit on it, make the experience fun. Chat to them while they are sitting on it. You don’t want them to associate using the potty with being bored.
Put them on the potty regularly
If you struggle to remember to remind your child they might need to use the loo, set a timer on your phone or use a kitchen timer.
In the first few days you want to be trying to get your child to use the potty every 30 to 45 minutes. I know this seems like a lot, but it won’t be like this every single day.
In the early days of potty training you want to remind them to try going to the loo.
Always remember to put them on the potty before going out of the house – I’ve made this mistake many times!
Have a positive reward system
Giving your kid sweets every single time they squeeze out a wee on the potty is going to lead to them consuming a LOT of sweets. They will be on that potty all the time.
Instead I suggest a sticker chart if your child is really struggling and definitely be super excited and positive every single time they use the potty successfully. Make it a really big deal and praise your child a lot.
I hope these steps give you all of the information you need for stress-free potty training. If you have any questions at all, please just drop me a message!
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