(BINGO dog song)
No More Diapers
Not For Me,
Because I Go In The Potty,
And I Go In The Potty!
No More Diapers,
Not For Me,
Because Diapers are Too Yucky,
Diapers Are Too Yucky!
Why does Potty Training always appear to be a race?
I am going to share what has worked for me in the past with my charges and hope it will help some parents and carer's who are thinking on embarking on this new exciting step.
When did I know my latest charge was ready to potty train?
I had had my suspicions for a while, but one day whilst we were walking along, she stopped in her tracks, I asked if she was ok, to which she replied, "Yes, I'm just doing a pee" (in her diaper). After that day I decided that this young lady was certainly ready.
The first thing you can do is at the end of the day before bath, is to start asking them if they can help you pull down their pants, this will help prepare them for being able to undress themselves independently when they need to slip off to the bathroom for a pee. Whilst the bath is running, ask them if they would like to sit on the potty. Remember at first, they may be reluctant, but with gentle guidance and some fun books (see below) your child will slowly open up to the idea.
The important thing is to not make a big deal, if your child says no, then happily accept their decision, and try again tomorrow. If we push too hard, this will have the opposite effect of what we want.
Remember to praise your child for sitting on the potty, even if nothing comes out, you are laying the foundation work.
Next, create a sticker chart with your child and place it in the bathroom. This can simply be a piece of A4 printer paper with your childs name followed by Potty Chart in bright colorful letters with their own little scribbles to personalize it to them. Then have stickers at hand! Stickers are always great incentives.
Get creative and silly, maybe even go for some Scented Stickers!
Connect with your child on their right hand side of the brain (the emotional side), so you can gently help them bridge that gap to their left hand side (the logic side) and take the next step in development without fear taking over. You can do this through using a nurturing voice, physical touch, empathetic facial expressions and non judgmental listening. Their fears of potty training are very real to them, even if we know they aren't going to fall in and disappear.
Remember to stay calm and focused on your child, as they will be looking at you for support, guidance and praise.
What I have found in the past which helps is when you get some of their toys involved. "I think Bear really needs a pee" (Remember to make sure everyone in the family are using the words such as pee or wee, to avoid confusion). Let your child play with their toys and place them on the potty, this will help relax them about the idea.
If your child is tired or not interested though, leave it for another day. There is no hurry, and it is not a race.
For those who are looking to be a little bit more greener, this potty is as environmentally friendly as they come. Made from farming leftovers, including bamboo waste and rice husks. The natural fibers are ground to a paste and then molded with biodegradable resin to create a potty, which
after you are finished with, you can simply bury it in the garden!
Babybjörn are a great classic, I love how they have a rubber rim around the bottom to stop the potty from slipping at all. The little bear on the front is welcomed by little ones, and if you are looking for a good sturdy, comfortable potty, you need look no further.
Depending on the size of your bathroom you may want the potty with the back to it if you think your child is going to be sitting there a long time reading books. Equally, the smaller potty below still offers the non-slip base and will get the job done.
In recent years they have started making pottys that look like toilets such as this one:
However, I would urge you to think of the amount of plastic that has been used in this production, and please note I have never had any problems transferring from a regular potty to a toilet.
When out and about before commencing potty training, start taking your child to the public toilets, such as when visitng the library - check out the libraries toilets. Even if you yourself personally are not desperate and could comfortably wait until you are home, chances are when your child starts potty training, they are going to need the bathroom at the their favorite spots. By introducing them to public bathrooms early, will reduce stress and will be much less frightening for when their time comes, as they will be used to noisy hand dryer, the small cubicles and all the other little differences.
I haven't personally had much luck with the inserts that you can place in the toilet, as I find they tend to move around and unnerve the child. However this one with suction cups can fold up easily, so great to travel with and the suction cups means there is no chance of movement.
You may find that your child is wanting to move on from the potty and onto the Big Grownup Potty sooner then you think, but if not, thats ok too!
Of course whether its getting up onto the grown up toilet or simply washing hands, you will need a step stool. I recommend purchasing a wooden stepping stool as these are heavier and less likely to move with little feet on them. Stepping stools of course will not only be useful for potty training, but will be great for years to come to help your child reach the book off the shelf or bake some cookies in the kitchen. So make sure you choose something that you want to be looking at for a long time!
Stepping stools like this one below that offer storage can be great, especially if you are limited for space in your bathroom, as it can hold bath toys, books to read whilst on the potty, or even hygiene products.
If your child enjoys lift the flaps, this is a great book to start the discussion of using pottys, I love how the little girl has an accident, because its important for them to know, this will happen, and its absolutely normal and its OK :)!
If your little one is into Sesame Street, this is another great lift the flap book to get them curious.
When Potty training, pees always seem to come easier then poops. So sometimes children need a little more convincing that pooping on the potty is a good idea. One important thing to note though, is when changing a poopy diaper, be careful not to use any negative words, so the child doesn't become ashamed. A good idea is to show your child their poop, this may seem a little strange, but if your child can start to know what it looks like, they will know what to expect when it comes out in the potty and the child will feel more at ease. You can even start putting the poop from the diaper into the toilet and so your child will learn that is where poops go.
Below are two books to help your child feel at ease with pooping and help them see that even the firefighter poops on the potty!
Letting children choose their underwear can be a great incentive for Potty training. Remember to get several pairs though as the first few days you will be going through a lot of underpants!
* Fun Fact: In the UK we call underpants- knickers and there is a book about the Queens who loses her knickers!
Remember when it comes to bed/naptime, using a diaper is only to be expected. As your child continues to grow and develop, their brain will start to release a chemical which will help them to be able to stay dry throughout the night. This can happen at any age up to seven. Of course, if you have concerns, talk to your GP.
If you are looking for further information on potty training, Gina Fords book is extremely easy-to-follow. Whether you have the time to focus on potty training and get it done in one week (which you absolutely can do if your child is ready and you have the time) or if you don't have all day to focus on the task, this book will help you feel at ease with more signs to look out for, how to make it fun and included are many stories from other parents with twins and all sorts of other scenarios that will help.
I hope this helps!