Potty training & toilet training your toddler is a hectic, but exciting time. Find out how to smooth the process with these tips & advice.
- A child-sized potty that is small and manageable for your child. Make sure your child’s feet can sit flat on the floor while sitting on the potty. This position will help your child to stabilize himself and he’ll feel more secure.
- Look for handy 3-in-1 style potties that convert from a potty to a detachable toilet seat that fits on top of a regular adult toilet for bigger children, to a step stool to be used once your child has fully graduated to the adult toilet.
- Handles on the back of a potty make it easily portable for parents, while side handles make it feel more secure for your little one.
- Hard plastic models are durable and easy to clean.
- Look for the removable bucket style potty for ultra easy clean up – just dump and flush in your adult toilet.
- Deflectors (also called “boy caps”) are great for little boys to prevent or minimize spills and leaks while sitting to pee.
- Some potties actually come with “rewards” like stickers, offer cool sounds to simulate flushing, or are themed around a favourite movie or cartoon character. Find one that excites your child to make it fun!
Potty Training Tips
- Before tackling the process of toilet training, get your child familiar with the concept. Let him or her follow parents, siblings, or other trusted family members into the bathroom to get an idea of what’s going on.
- Try initiating the process by taking a dirty diaper to the toilet and letting your child watch you flush the solid waste down. Explain that this is where the “poo” (or whatever term you choose) goes.
- Make it fun, not scary. If at any point, your child exhibits fear over the potty, toilet or bathroom, put the training on hold for a while. Each child is unique, and gaining the maturity to attempt this milestone can come at different times for different children.
- Get the right equipment before you start. There are lots of great children’s picture books, DVDs and songs about “going potty” for the first time, so see what you can find to help prepare your little one. Also get a potty to suit your needs, and have other tools like rewards and easily removed clothing ready for action.
- Remember to establish a routine. Going to sit on the potty at the same times every day helps to regulate a potty schedule. Try first thing in the morning, after snacks and meals, and before bed to start, and let your child’s natural body schedule dictate the rest. You’ll be surprised at how routine it will become.
- Investing in multiple potties to have strategically placed throughout your house will work wonders. Children often wait until the very last minute before realizing they need a potty, so always having one close at hand will minimize accidents, and reinforce all of your training.
- Let your child take ownership of the potty process by selecting his or her own potty!