Potty Training is probably one of the more challenging aspects of parenting a toddler. Some toddlers simply fall into the task with ease but for many any number of things can go wrong.
This brings up many questions from parents.
How do I know when the right time is to start encouraging potty training?
Most toddlers are ready to be potty trained between 18 and 24 months of age. You can watch out for the following signs that your toddler is ready:
- Your toddler tells you when he is about to wee in his nappy.
- Your toddler requests to take his nappy off to wee or refuses to wear a nappy.
- Your toddler shows interest in sitting on the toilet or wee’ing in the garden.
- Your toddler has dry nappies for two to three hour stretches.
When should I potty train my toddler?
The easiest time to potty train is in the summer months. The reason is that in the warmth of summer it is easy to remove the nappy and allow your baby to wander around outside. If your toddler has the odd accident in this outdoor space, it is not a crisis and through these little mishaps, our toddler will learn the clear connection between feeling the urge to go to the toilet and making a wee.
I believe the best time to potty train is in the summer after your toddler turns 18 months.
How do I potty train?
If you are potty training in summer, let your little one wander around with no pants or nappy on. When he asks to go to the potty, take him immediately to a potty to make a wee. In addition to responding to his requests to go to the potty, set an alarm clock for every two hours. As the alarm goes off, take him to the potty so that there are less incidences of mishaps. Whenever he gets it right and makes it to the potty or makes a wee or poo when taken, reward him with suitable praise for achieving the task.
Should my nanny potty train my toddler?
If your child is in a play group or cared for by an au pair or nanny, be sure to discuss potty training with your little one’s caregiver ahead of time. Remember that Consistency is King – if all parties are 100% consistent with the way you approach potty training then the shift between caregiver and parent should not delay the process.
What to expect:
- Expect your little one to quickly learn what wee’ing feels like.
- Listen out for him to tell you when he is doing it and reinforce the learning of the sensation positively.
- Expect your little one not to want to go to the toilet if he is very busily engaged in an activity and in this case, give a warning – “We are going to the toilet in 2 minutes, when you have finished…”
- Expect your little one to make a wee on the potty 70% of the time you take her.
- Reward with a smile and encouragement each time he gets it right.
- Expect a little regression now and again and encourage him by saying “Oh dear – an ‘oopsie’. Next time tell mommy and we will go to the loo.”
- Some toddlers do not potty train for stools until much later.
- Most children have night nappies until the pre-school years and that’s okay.
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Meg is an Occupational Therapist with a special interest in babies and toddlers – specifically irritable infants; sleep problems, emotional engagement difficulties and fussy feeding. Meg is the co-author of Baby Sense and the Sense-series books. She is passionate about her work with babies and toddlers and delivers global online services in the parenting space. She lives in Jersey and is married with three children. Visit www.megfaure.com to learn more about her.