In my previous post, I discussed some of the things that mums talk about when we get together. One of the topics that we keep getting around to, because most of our kids are about the same age, is potty-training. We’ve been sharing information and experiences, and this has honestly been extremely helpful. Before embarking on anything, I usually like to do some research. And the best guides you can ever get are first-hand word-of-mouth ones from your friends. When I thought that TT was possibly ready for the big leap to big-girl panties, I spoke to friends, mums of TT’s nursery friends and even her nursery teacher. All of them provided invaluable suggestions and advice, and this shaped how we proceeded with potty-training.
Based on what I learnt from them, here are a few tips that might come in handy if and when you decide that it’s time to potty-train your child. If you have any more suggestions, please let me know and I will be sure to add them to the list!
Talk to friends who have already potty-trained their kids
I’m sure they would have used various methods, and you will find out how to decide when your child is ready, what worked for their children and what didn’t work. You’ll probably also discover all the different items that you will possibly need to get for potty-training and where to buy them. I would consider this very useful information which you shouldn’t skip!
Read up on different methods and pick one
There are a few methods of potty-training. You can take the slow and steady route, or go cold-turkey. There’s a 3-day method which requires you to be glued to the house and your child for that period of time. You can also choose to wait till your child says that he/she is ready. You’ll be the best judge of the best method, which most likely will depend on the temperament of your child and how you think he can handle it.
Change your method if it doesn’t work
But if your first method is not met with success, don’t stress. Your child might simply not be ready. So take a step back, wait a while and perhaps try another method. That’s exactly what I did with TT and second-time round worked much better.
Prepare your child and talk to them about it
I wouldn’t suggest surprising your child with this news one morning, “Good morning honey, I’ve chucked all your diapers so too bad”. That might be too much for their little minds and bodies to handle! It would probably be helpful to give them some sort of preparation. Perhaps familiarise them with others using the big potty. Tell them they can use it when they’re older and when they’re ready. Get a book about using the potty. Place a small potty in their bathroom and help them to get used to it without actually using it first. Ask them if they would like to try to use it. I think that if they have been exposed to the idea, kids will be more receptive to using the potty. And if they think they get to use it when they’re ‘older’ and ‘ready’, they might be very willing to take on this responsibility. Try this “inception” with your kids, it definitely works with mine!
Don’t rush your child
Same with changing the method if it doesn’t work – don’t keep pushing a method on them if it doesn’t work or if your child is resistant to even starting potty-training. You might give them a phobia of using the potty or worse still, they might think the best way is to hold it in.
Praise kids for their efforts
A great way to motivate kids to use the potty is to praise them when they actually use the potty or encourage them when they miss the mark by telling them they can try again next time. At this age, they’re elated to know they’re doing well and being a big girl/boy. And this will make them want to do it again, or make a better attempt the next round. Verbal praise and tangible rewards/treats both worked for TT, and she loved thinking that she had been promoted to a “big girl”.
Have lots of patience
You will definitely need loads of this. Potty-training takes time and if you’re a neat-freak like me, you will need to get over the mess that will definitely be made. There might be some tears, a lot of cajoling, a lot of time spent sitting next to your child in the bathroom and a lot of cleaning. Have an abundance of patience, rolls of kitchen towels, wet-wipes, mops and clothes ready for this!
For my next post, I’ll detail what I did with TT and how we proceeded with potty-training. Maybe that might be of some use to you or your friends 😉 If you’ve already done this, what other tips would you add to this list?
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