By: Dawnn Whittaker
Potty training is, like most things toddler-related, pretty confusing for everyone involved. Thankfully, there are ways you can set yourself up for success. Long before you even ask yourself “When should I start potty training?” you can be preparing your child for potty training.
We call this laying the foundations for potty training success. Think about it from a building perspective: if you set a strong foundation, everything you build after will be that much stronger. With potty training, if you build a strong framework, your strategy is more likely to stick once you get to it.
You can begin laying your potty training foundation very early, integrating ideas and changes without any of the shock factor that often derails potty training progress.
PURCHASE A POTTY
Purchase a potty and leave it somewhere in the normal living / playing area. Talk about it, but don’t force them to sit on it. Just let it be. You can keep your diapers near the potty, so they begin to associate being changed in the same area they will later use the potty. You can buy a potty seat for the toilet / foot stool, but we don’t recommend moving to the toilet right away, as children often do better on the potty first
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CHILD
(… even your baby!) Have your words for pee and poo and be consistent in talking about what they are doing and what you are doing when you use the toilet, including the feeling you get before you have to go. Don’t call the toilet a potty, as that can be confusing, but otherwise just be factual and encourage them to talk about what they are doing. Praise them for recognizing their own pee or poo.
DON’T THROW OUT THE POO, FLUSH IT
Technically you’re supposed to do this, even with disposables, but for children it’s very important for them to see where the poo goes and how it gets flushed away
INTEGRATE HYGIENE FOR THEM
So get them to wash their hands after a diaper change
LET YOUR CHILD IN
… which means sacrificing your bathroom privacy when you have to go.
READ BOOKS ABOUT THE POTTY
… but without an agenda talking about readiness or being “big kids”. Don’t apply the pressure, you want to make it light and fun. My favourite books are the Once Upon a Potty books (for boysand girls)
Potty training is a new adventure you’ll be going on with your child.
Many parents fear the process, and it can have its ups and downs, but if you are willing to walk the path with patience and positivity, you may find it a great time to bond with your child. Set the stage for success with your toddler with these tips and you may find it easier than you think!
For more on potty training, join Cheekychops at Toddlerfest on September 30th at 6-9pm. We’ll be on hand to discuss signs of potty training readiness, tips for how to get started, and strategies for success. If you can’t make it out to the event, we welcome you to download one of our potty training e-books, check our blog, or get in touch with us to talk about our Potty Packages.
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