Potty training’s a big step, and one that needs to be done cautiously. These are some ways to help your child with the potty.
1. Buy the right potty
Look for a large comfortable potty ahead of time. When the day comes to use it, the potty will be a familiar sight.
2. Choose your moment
+ When your child can understand basic commands and exercise some bladder control, you can make a start.
+ Ideally, your child should be able to stay dry for a couple of hours before you start potty training. Usually around two years of age.
+ Don’t expect night-time dryness until much later.
+ Avoid starting at times of stress, like moving.
3. Ease them into it
After you give food or drink, put your child on the potty. If nothing happens, don’t worry, but give praise if something does.
4. Phase out diapers
+ As potty time becomes part of the routine, let your child go without a diaper.
+ Choose a time when you can be at home, or in the yard.
+ Use pull-up diapers instead of regular ones and put your child on the potty every hour.
+ Always praise success. Don’t scold a child for failure.
5. Mark triumphs
Make a chart and stick on gold stars when the potty is used. It helps encourage your child and recognizes their successes instead of their failures.
6. Use picture books
+ A fun story with lots of pictures helps toddlers understand what’s involved.
+ In lieu of a traditional picture book, you can use free, child-friendly images online.
7. Take a step up
When your child can manage it, introduce a toddler step and trainer seat for the bathroom. Teach correct wiping and thorough hand washing. With girls, teach to wipe from front to back.
8. Prep your bathroom and bath
With water and hard surfaces, the bathroom can be a danger zone. Follow these simple tips to avoid accidents and injury:
+ Slipping is the most likely hazard when feet or the floor are wet. Always take care when helping your child get into or out of the bath.
+ Use a bathmat if your floor is a hard surface that could be slippery.
+ If your bath doesn’t have a built-in, non-slip area, consider using a rubber suction mat or individual rubber patches.
+ Only use electrical equipment designed for use in a bathroom, and plug only into special shaver sockets. Keep all electrical equipment out of your child’s reach.
9. Keep your bathroom child-friendly
+ Never let young children play in the bathroom – it’s neither safe nor hygienic.
+ Always run the cold water into the bath before the hot, just in case a child gets in or falls in before the bath is ready.
+ A thermostatic mixer tap allows you to set your desired temperature.
+ Always store medication and cleaning fluids out of reach, preferably in a locked cupboard.
+ Remove the door lock or reposition it out of your child’s reach.
It can take a while to teach an infant to use the bathroom. Be patient and relaxed about it. They all get there in the end.