05 Mar Toilet Training
Well, how time flies.
So far in this parenting journey, your body has changed numerous times due to those fun things we call hormones. You have gone back to work, you’re getting parenting advice left, right and centre, your sleep pattern has gone up and down, you’re questioning whether you’re doing everything right and let’s not forget about your baby. They have learnt to sit up, crawl, stand up and probably walk. They have gone through the dreaded teething phase with non-stop crying in pain. You have been behind them every step of the way all while wondering whether they will say mummy or daddy first. You have got used to the crazy lifestyle then BAM! the next stage in your child’s life has come…toilet training.
Most parents tend to find this stage daunting because they feel it’s messy and frustrating “my carpets will get ruined” “they are not getting it”. For the child, it’s an even scarier process. They are used to going toilet in their nappy then just getting changed from a dirty one to a clean one but then, out of nowhere, they have to face this big white thing that somehow makes their ‘business’ disappear. How crazy is that?
But do not fear great parent, for I am here to help you get through this dreaded stage with my 5 top tips to mastering toilet training.
- Prepare- This stage in a child’s development can be tricky so it is important that you prepare your child and also your home (it could get a little messy).
- Prepare your child. It is a good idea to start preparing your child before you start toilet training so that they understand. A great way to help them know how to use the toilet is to use books and role play. (Here’s a great book you could buy, it comes with a reward chart https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/0764167278/ref=mp_s_a_1_15/256-5726193-5256732?ie=UTF8&qid=1476725611&sr=1-15&pi=SY200_QL40&dpPl=1&dpID=513Siq0-zdL&ref=plSrch ). Use your child’s favourite toy to show them that everyone uses the toilet. Take them to the bathroom to show them how it works so that they start grasping the idea of a toilet.
- Prepare your home. This stage will include a few accidents so have some carpet or floor cleaner handy and some tissue to wipe up any mishaps. Make sure you have the equipment you need such as a toilet seat and step. A great way to get your child involved is to help them pick out a toilet seat so they are less scared of the toilet. Make a big deal of all the training equipment so your child feels that it is a special and exciting time.
- Stay Consistent. When you start toilet training it is important to stay consistent. Don’t be tempted to put your child back in nappies to prevent accidents, this will put you back 10 steps as you are confusing your child. Keep pushing forward and keep the journey exciting for your child, even when you feel like giving up.
- Schedule Time to Stay at Home. To really get a good start to toilet training, it is best to begin when you have several days clear such as the weekend. It will make things easier so you can really devote time to your child. Plan some fun activities for you and your child to do together to keep them occupied during your time at home.
- Reminders and Rewards. Children can easily forget that they do not have a nappy on so you should continually remind them that if they need to wee or poo, they should do it in the toilet. Throughout the day, ask them if they need to go toilet as, sometimes, they will hold it in due to being scared; this is where rewards and encouragement come into play. When your child does use the toilet or tell you they need the toilet make sure to give them lots of praise. Set up a sticker reward chart to track and reward their achievements to encourage them to use the toilet.
- Accidents Will Happen. Your child will have accidents. It’s inevitable. But it is important that you do not make too much of a fuss of the accident, instead, remind your child that they should tell you if they need to go to the toilet.
There they are, my top tips to help you master toilet training. Remember that this process can be tricky and can take several weeks for your child to get to grips with but you both can get through it together.
If you need any extra support with toilet training or want to share any suggestions you have, join my Facebook page ‘Parents Keeping It Real’ where other parents and myself share our tips and suggestions on various parenting concerns.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.
Sylvia the Parentologist x