Does it seem like you’ll never crack potty training? Some kids take to the idea much sooner, and quicker, than others so it’s no wonder some parents find the whole process tedious and stressful. The trick is not to panic – it’ll all click into place in its own time, but if you need a few tips to help you get started, here are some snippets of fab advice for you.
- Make sure there’s nothing else stressful in your life that you’re contending with, because it’ll just prolong the process. If you’re moving home, or expecting a new baby any time soon, avoid potty training until afterwards. This will not only mean that you will have more patience for it, but it will mean less upset for the child too.
- Make sure she’s ready because there’s no point starting the process if she’s not. Pick up some affordable girl’s underwear in advance, and be prepared to deal with plenty of accidents. George’s girl’s underwear is great value and also washes well, which will be handy. Take her to the shop with you, or browse online together, so that she can choose her ‘big girl pants’ herself.
- If you haven’t already got one, pop a waterproof mattress cover on her bed so that if she does have any inevitable accidents, the mattress will be protected.
- Choose a couple of weeks when you are the most free and make sure anyone else who looks after your child is aware of your plans so that they can continue with them.
- Before you even consider potty training, introduce her to the potty, so that she can become familiar with it. Often, tots will sit on it by themselves without you having to cajole them at all.
- In the beginning, they will not automatically think that they need to go to the toilet, so make sure that you ask them every half an hour or so.
- If you’re out and about, make sure you have a change of clothes for them, just in case.
- Praise them every time.
- Use reward charts if you wish, to add an extra incentive for them to learn this new routine.
- Don’t be alarmed if they take longer to be dry at night. Focus on daytime dryness first, particularly if they are heading off to pre-school and would, ideally, be dry for that.
- Look out for signs that they are ready to train. There’s absolutely no point forcing them into it before they are ready, because if anything, you’ll just delay their progress.
It’s natural for parents to worry about their child’s development, but you shouldn’t be alarmed if your child isn’t ready when other parents say they should. You know your child better than anyone, so remember that. Also remember that while most children learn to be dry during the night between the ages of 3 and 5, 1 in 6 five year olds wet the bed, so don’t worry too much if they’re taking a little longer to master being dry. It’ll happen eventually!