How to start your potty training journey
Potty training can be challenging and overwhelming for parents and children. However, with the right approach and a few helpful tips and tricks, the process can be much easier.
One of the most important things to remember when potty training is that every child is different and will develop at their own pace. Some children may be ready to start potty training as early as 18 months, while others may not be ready until they are 3 or 4 years old. It’s essential not to rush or force the process and to wait until your child is showing signs of readiness.
Signs of readiness
There are several signs that a child may be ready to start potty training. Here are a few to look for:
- Physical readiness: Children typically show physical readiness for potty training by having the ability to control their bladder and bowel movements for short periods of time. They may also be able to pull their pants up and down on their own.
- Interest: Children may also be ready to start potty training if they are interested in the process. They may watch others use the toilet or express curiosity about the potty.
- Imitation: Children may be ready for potty training if they start imitating the actions of others, such as hiding to use the bathroom or pretending to wipe themselves.
- Language skills: Children who have developed good language skills are more likely to be ready for potty training as they can communicate their needs and understand instructions.
- Understanding of cause and effect: Children should also be able to understand the connection between their actions and the result. If they know that going to the bathroom in their nappy and going to the bathroom in the potty are different things, they are more likely to be ready for potty training.
The first steps
When you start potty training, it’s a good idea to start with a small potty or a potty seat that fits on top of the regular toilet. This can make the transition easier for your child, as they will be familiar with the smaller potty and will feel more comfortable using it.
Creating an environment that encourages your child to use the potty is important for the success of the potty training process. Here are a few ways to create a positive and supportive environment for your child:
- Make it accessible: Put the potty in a convenient and accessible location, such as the bathroom or a nearby play area, so that your child can easily use it when they need to.
- Make it fun: You can make the potty more appealing to your child by decorating it with stickers or by letting them pick out a special potty seat that they like.
- Read books or watch videos: Children can be fascinated by the process of using the potty, so reading books or watching videos about potty training can help them understand the process and make it more interesting for them.
- Encourage independence: Encourage your child to take an active role in the potty training process by allowing them to undress themselves, sit on the potty, and flush the toilet.
- Use positive reinforcement: Praise your child for their efforts, even if they don’t use the potty, and celebrate their successes. Positive reinforcement will encourage your child to keep trying.
- Be patient: Potty training can take time and it’s important to be patient and not to get frustrated or upset with your child if accidents happen.
- Be a role model: Children often follow the example of their parents, so if your child sees you using the bathroom, they may be more likely to use the potty themselves.
Creating an environment that encourages your child to use the potty is an essential step in the potty training process. Making the potty accessible, fun, and interactive, encouraging independence, praising and celebrating successes, being patient and being a good role model will help to set your child up for success.
Another helpful tip is to ensure your child is dressed in easy-to-remove clothing. Avoid using onesies or pants with snaps or buttons, as these can be difficult for children to remove quickly when they need to use the bathroom. They can feel discouraged about the potty training process if they continually have accidents because they cannot remove their clothes in time, so be mindful of what they wear while they are still learning.
Create a routine
In addition, it’s helpful to establish a potty routine. Encourage your child to use the potty at regular intervals throughout the day, such as after meals, before and after naps, and before bedtime. This will help them develop a sense of when they need to use the bathroom and make it easier for them to make the transition.
Here are a few ways in which a routine can help:
- Potty breaks: Establishing regular potty breaks throughout the day, such as after meals, before and after naps, and before bedtime, can help your child develop a sense of when they need to use the bathroom. This can make it easier for them to make the transition to using the potty.
- Consistency: Having a routine can help provide consistency for your child, which can make the potty training process less confusing for them.
- Positive reinforcement: Establishing a routine can also make it easier for you to provide positive reinforcement for your child, such as praising them for using the potty or providing small rewards, which can help encourage them to continue using the potty.
- Potty schedule: Having a routine can also make it easier for you to keep track of your child’s potty schedule and make sure they are using the bathroom at the right times.
- Accidents reduction: If a child knows when they have to use the potty, they will be less likely to have accidents. A routine can help your child to be prepared and ready to use the potty when they need to.
Overall, establishing a routine can help make the potty training process less stressful for both you and your child by providing consistency, positive reinforcement, and a sense of structure. It’s important to be flexible and adjust the routine as needed, and to remember that every child is different, and may develop at their own pace.
Your Eden educators are here to help!
Your Eden Academy community also plays an important role in helping with potty training by providing a consistent and supportive environment for the child to learn and practice using the toilet.
We communicate verbally with parents on a regular basis and daily on our online app to discuss the child’s progress and any challenges they may be facing. This ensures that the child’s potty training is consistent across both home and early learning settings. Our experienced educators help a variety of children potty train each year, so they are familiar with readiness signs, strategies and techniques to encourage children to continue potty training when they attend Eden.
If you have questions, concerns or are unsure where to start with potty training, please reach out to your Eden team!
You can do this!
Potty training can be a long and challenging process, but with patience and the right approach, you can help your child make the transition smoothly. Remember to be patient, consistent and use positive reinforcement techniques.
In conclusion, potty training is an important milestone for children and parents alike. With the right approach and a few helpful tips and tricks, the process can be made a lot easier. Remember, every child is different and will develop at their own pace, so be patient and understanding. And always remember to celebrate the small victories along the way.
Some helpful resources
Sometimes children need an extra bit of encouragement to get started with potty training.
Music can be a powerful tool to encourage children to use the potty and make the potty training process more fun and interactive. Here are a few of our favourites:
There are also many children’s books available that can help make the potty training process more fun and interactive for your child. Here are a few popular books that may be helpful:
- “Once Upon a Potty” by Alona Frankel: This classic book follows the journey of a young boy as he learns to use the potty. The book includes a plush doll and comes in both boy and girl versions.
- “Potty” by Leslie Patricelli: This simple, yet entertaining book is about a baby who is learning to use the potty. The book uses humor and basic illustrations to make the topic relatable for young children.
- “The Potty Book for Boys” by Alyssa Satin Capucilli: This book is specifically designed for boys and covers all aspects of potty training, including how to use the potty, what to do when you have an accident, and how to stay clean.
- “Sesame Street – Potty Time with Elmo” by PI Kids: This book features Elmo, a beloved Sesame Street character, encouraging children to use the potty with fun and interactive buttons and images.