Potty training is one of those milestones that many parents dread. As much as you are glad to see the back of nappies, it is a task that is often set about with trepidation. In her guest blog Rebecca Mottram, a certified potty training coach, shares her top tips.
Potty training is something many parents worry about. But with a little preparation, it can be a rewarding and empowering experience for you and your toddler.
I am a Registered Children’s Nurse and a Certified Potty Training Coach for toddlers aged 18 months and over. I use a non-coercive and gentle approach developed by Andrea Olson (Go Diaper Free). Below, I share my top preparation tips for potty training:
1. Be committed: this is probably the most important thing you can do. Decide that you’re going to stick with it until you’ve reached your goal.
2. Be confident: harbouring doubts will make committing to the process harder.
1. My child is not ready / children should not be rushed
Believe in your child: Being “ready” is more to do with how you as a parent feel than what your child is capable of. Just 50 years ago, all children were potty trained by 18 months. Today, over half the world’s children are potty trained by 12 months. You can do it, and so can your child (read more about readiness here).
2. It will be messy
Potty training can be done in a way that is totally practical for today’s modern lifestyles. Accepting a few accidents and using them as learning opportunities will make them more manageable.
3. My toddler won’t be on board
Toddlers need guidance and consistency but they are also at a key developmental stage where they crave mastery. If you tap into this, your child will support you.
4. I don’t know how
You are not alone! Many parents feel unsure about potty training. Give yourself a break, and then make a plan to tackle it full on.
About a week before you plan to stop using nappies (and potty train), get your little one used to the idea by having your child sit on the potty upon waking, at bath time, or when you see the signs of a poo coming. Each nappy change is also a good time to sit.
Do some nappy free time each day for a few days so your child gets used to the idea. Just be careful this time doesn’t become about allowing your child to pee or poo wherever, as this is counterproductive.
Make a plan:
Parents who learn (and use) a single potty training method have the most success. A structured approach that takes you and your child through all the necessary steps will give you both confidence.