A few weeks ago we decided to see if William was ready to take the plunge and attempt to potty train (I hate this term, if you’ve followed me for a while you will know this but it is the most recognisable term so I will use it here – I just don’t believe in “training” our kids). Anyway, I was pretty sceptical as he’d never shown any interest in trying pants on previously, his speech is still a little behind so I wasn’t sure he would be able to tell us that he needed to go in time plus he just adores his cloth nappies – as do I!! However, I was proved completely wrong and he happily gave it a go and I can (sob) report that he hasn’t worn a daytime nappy since.
I’ve written a couple of blogs in the past on the pressures we face in this area of child development and how when a child hits 2 years old it’s as though everybody just assumes you should start to potty train but this wasn’t right for either of my 2. Jake was nowhere near ready at 2 and I only tried because others were telling me it was time. It was stressful and it upset him so I stopped and waited. At 2 years 9 months he was ready and told me so. He ditched the nappies straight away and never had an accident, he was even dry at night. Very straightforward. William has been a little different (he is 3 ½) and has had an accident more often than not, but he wants to do it and has said he doesn’t want his nappies back on so we are sticking with it and going with his flow. If he wasn’t happy I would simply revert back to nappies until he was ready.
I know some of my Instagram followers saw me discuss all of this in my stories and I’ve received a few messages asking for my tips on a smooth and simple transition into potty training but I can honestly say that the key here was to just simply wait for the right time. But what worked for us should really work for most people so…
My 12 top potty training tips I would give to anyone would be:
– Listen to your child’s needs and don’t worry about what others think
– Ignore pressures from other parents/family members
– Talk to your child and explain how a toilet works and how we go to it when we need a wee
– Ask them if they want to try (if they don’t, don’t push them)
– Show them underwear and ask them if they want to try it on (if they don’t, leave it)
– If you try to toilet/potty train and they just keep wetting themselves and get upset, go back to nappies until they are more ready
– Ensure you have full support from your childcare setting- you can read more on asking your childcare setting using cloth nappies here
– Focus on daytime without nappies before nighttime and don’t push nighttime on them before they are ready (it’ll just lead to sleepless nights for everybody and nobody needs that!)
– Use reward charts or stickers to encourage them
– Keep communicating- you will get sick of hearing the words “do you need a wee?” but they do need this at first
– Don’t use nappies for days out, car trips, for going to Grandma’s etc. If you are going to ditch the nappies you need to do it otherwise it’ll just confuse them
– Don’t get disheartened if they aren’t ready. It’ll come when they are ready and they will let you know when that is too
I hope these potty training tips help to reassure anyone who is going through this, who is feeling pressurised into it by others or who has a child who isn’t yet ready. Like everything in parenting, you do what works for you and your children.
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