I’ve been there, your child turns 2 or 2.5 and you start to feel the pressure to get them out of nappies and onto the toilet. While it does have to happen, like everything else with kids they will get there when they are ready.
So, after going through toilet training twice I’m here to give you some tips to help you on your way. Let me preface this by saying this is just what worked for us, I’m not a professional, but I want to let you know it will be ok.
Tip 1 Don’t rush it –
I had one child who was ready at almost 3 and a half and another who was ready at 2 years old.
We tried to get Hudson on the toilet at 2.5 and just before he turned 3, multiple times with multiple failures. Basically he just didn’t know when he needed to go which resulted in lots of accidents and it was frustrating for all of us.
When he was ready it just clicked and he pretty much had it within a day or two.
Scarlett was one of those children that decided one day she wanted to wear knickers and she just got it. I dont know if this is because she is a girl or a 2nd child but se was desperate to use the toilet like Hudson did.
There is no point rushing, don’t stress about what everyone else is doing or the fact that Karen from mother’s group keeps telling you how her baby was trained from 18 months. Every child is different and when they are ready it will happen.
Tip 2 Talk it up –
Make it an exciting time. Read books about the toilet, watch little cartoons, show your child the toilet, explain how the paper works, and let them experiment. The flush could be intimidating and often kids worry they could fall in. Speak about these things to help them alleviate any fears. Don’t just spring it on them without warning (no one likes those sort of surprises). It’s a big change for little people so they need time to understand what is happening.
Tip 3 Show them –
As awkward as it is, kids need to see you on the toilet. They probably follow you there anyway so while your there have a little chat about the toilet and how adults and big kids use the toilet and not nappies.
Tip 4 Practice –
Before we ditched nappies we used pull ups. That way the kids could easily pull their pants up and down if they wanted to try to go to the toilet but there wasn’t the pressure of having accidents. We even put underwear over the top to make it more exciting.
Tip 5 Reward them –
Before starting toilet training we went shopping. I let the kids pick their own character underwear, we picked stickers for a reward chart and I grabbed some bigger prizes (hot wheels, $2 surprise eggs, mini M&M’s etc) for when they did a number two.
* Disclaimer: We did have to limit the hot wheels to one a day. Hudson clued after a bit and started holding his poo in and only letting go of small nuggets each time so he could get more cars 🤦♀️ (parenting fail).
We also celebrated with high fives and cheers if they attempted to use the toilet.
Tip 6 Use the toilet –
Potty’s are super convenient, you can put them anywhere and they aren’t as daunting as a toilet. However, we found having a little toilet seat and steps worked better for us than a potty.
Also, children get in habits and before you know it the potty may be front and centre of the lounge room or kitchen (kind of awkward when you have guests over and your kid is taking a dump).
Kids don’t like stopping what they are doing to go to the loo. However, the reality is that’s exactly what we all have to do so we figured we would get our kids used to the toilet from the start.
The only time we had a potty was for Scarlett. It stayed in the kids bathroom next to the toilet and was really only there for if they both needed to go at the same time.
Having your child be able to use the toilet instead of taking a potty is good when you’re out and about. Thank godness most shopping centres do have little toilets that make life much easier.
Of course, if you are using a potty there is no judgement from me. Do whatever works for you and your child 👍.
Tip 7 Accidents happen –
They happen but don’t sweat it. Toilet training can be frustrating for everyone. Just make sure you have spare undies on hand and a change of clothes (including socks) in the car.
We had little absorbent pads in the car seats (got them online) to save some cleaning.
If we were at home and it was a number two accident I would put it into the toilet and explain that’s where the poo goes now. I also threw out any underpants that were too hard to clean, just to make life easier.
When accidents happened we would just be understanding, get them changed and move on.
Tip 8 Nights take time –
Don’t worry if your child still needs a pull up at night. Nomally it takes around 6 months of day toilet training before kids are dry all through the night. Again, don’t worry if someone tells you they got rid of all nappies and pull ups at once and their child just got it. Night training can take longer.
When we got rid of night pull ups we invested in a Brolly sheet for the bed. It simply goes over the sheet and you can just take it off in the middle of the night if there is an accident. Good quality mattress protectors are also life savers not just for toilet training. Leave them on all the time. You never know when gastro or a blood nose might strike.
So there you have it, a few tips from me. I hope it’s helpful. Just remember don’t worry what everyone else is doing, toilet training will happen.