We’re continuing our series of Parenting Life Hacks and this week are looking at potty training. The mere thought of it may fill you with dread or make you pull your hair out, but these tips should help to take some of the stress out so you can get your little one on the potty and out of nappies.
Once again we called upon some experienced parenting bloggers to get their top tips to share with you.
One clear theme really shone through from all of the life hacks received – don’t start until you’re BOTH ready. Donna Pinnel from baby gift site, the Little Lilly Pad, suggests looking for signs such as when your toddler lets you know that they’re wet. Don’t worry if everyone else is boasting that they’ve already got through the potty training, everyone will be ready at different times and the experience will be far quicker if you don’t rush in.
Zoe from MamaGeek.co.uk is currently in the middle of trying to train her daughter and believes when you are ready to start; the experience can be made more enjoyable by allowing your toddler to pick their own potty.
This is also echoed by Jocelyn Reading (previously contributing to our parenting life hacks for feeding), who has found it really helps to build up some excitement with the whole experience. Jocelyn has coupled this with rewards, which has also been hugely successful with parenting blogger, Collette, from Going on An Adventure.
Another of our previous parenting experts who has come back with more tips is Louise from MyGorgeousBoys.com, who advises not rushing in and being realistic about how long you expect it to take before nappies are a thing of the past.
Our round-up of the Top 10 Parenting Life Hacks for Potty Training
1) Wait until both you AND your child feel ready – otherwise it’ll be stressful for everyone involved and will end up taking much more time and effort.
2) Give your little one control over the situation by allowing them to choose their own potty. You can then carry this on by letting them choose their own grown up underwear to wear while they’re mastering the potty.
3) Get some heat sensitive stickers to stick to the bottom of the potty. By using these, your toddler will have a reason to use the potty, as the stickers will reveal a fun cartoon after use.
4) Prepare for accidents (there will be some) by stocking up on baby wipes and cleaning products. This will help to make you more relaxed when an accident does happen,
5) Now you’ve prepared for accidents, be brave and give your child the freedom to run around the house with easy access to the potty (try to get one for each floor of your home).
6) Don’t confuse things by using nappies while you’re trying to get them trained on the potty. Nappies can still be used at night to avoid accidents, but during the day it should be underwear or bare bums only.
7) Reward and praise – using little incentives, whether it’s a sticker on a chart or a treat for doing so well, can work wonders. This can first be started when your toddler is sat on the potty and you can then build up to bigger rewards as they get more comfortable using it.
8) Set realistic goals on how long you think it’ll take and use these as parts of the rewards chart. It will also help to take away the stress of constantly worrying that it’s taking too long.
9) Make it fun for you both. Whether it’s rewarding yourself if your child has a fully dry day, or getting an extra potty for their favourite doll, the whole experience will be less stressful for you both and keep you motivated to carry on through.
10) Keep calm and carry on. Things won’t happen overnight and you should try to avoid other distractions for a few days so you can concentrate solely on the potty training, without adding any other stress to the situation.
Have you had experience of potty training? Give us your best tips below to help other parents going through the experience at the moment.