Potty Training Steps
It’s a good idea to get a potty or toilet training seat when your child is able to sit confidently. Start a routine where the child sits on the toilet or potty at a particular time of day, preferably when you expect there to be something waiting. At this age it’s about familiarisation and getting used to sitting on the potty or toilet not about whether they do anything. If they do, obviously you will clap and give praise. You will probably be more excited about it than they are. Then they will realise that this is where poo and pee goes.
- If your child is not already in cotton nappies start using them, at least some of the time. That way your child is learning from making the nappy wet. This stimulates her/his curiosity to experiment with releasing and holding urine.
- When you change the nappy talk about whether it is wet or dry. You will find out how long your child is holding his/her bladder and find out whether he/she is drinking enough.
- Play a game with your child of changing a nappy on a favourite teddy or doll for five minutes a day. Comment on whether the nappy is wet or dry, clean or dirty.
- Read a book such as Tony Ross' "I want my potty" to your child.
- After a few days start potty training the doll/teddy. Give lots of clapping and praise to teddy/doll when it keeps its pants dry/clean or does a poo/pee on the potty.
- If you can, spend some time at the home of a child who has recently potty/toilet trained and encourage your child to visit the toilet with the older child. Praise the toilet/potty trained child to your own child for this skill s/he has acquired.
- Wait and watch for the signs that your child has decided to potty/toilet train.
- Your child will probably know when a poo is coming. Suggest the potty/toilet. Make up a funny song or poem about doing poos on the loo.
- If nothing happens, don't worry. In a few weeks start again at step 3.
- When your child is interested in using the toilet/potty invest in a few pairs of trainer pants. Accidents can scare the child in ordinary pants and make him/her want a nappy again.
- For night training cotton nappies help you know when your child is holding his/her urine all through the night.
- All children go through compliant and non-compliant phases. If it's not working simply stop and go back to nappies until the time feels right. Summer is good because the child is wearing fewer clothes but the most important thing is to make sure your child understands what s/he is trying to achieve and give him/her the opportunity to take the lead.
- Find other parents who are doing it and discuss tips with them. Don't just wait for it to happen, you could end up waiting a long time!