This is quite a sensitive subject for our family. We took toilet training for granted. As a parent you know it’s going to happen and you know it’s going to be an interesting time, with mess and accidents galore. I didn’t realise how much patience would be required!
When we toilet trained our first daughter it was everything we had come to learn, there were accidents, lots of celebrating, days where we gave up – for her sanity and ours! I remember the reward charts and the treats.
I remember the tears and tantrums over this new stage for our little girl. It was absolutely no easy feat. But at no point did we ever consider that it was something we wouldn’t ever achieve.
Not so straight-forward with daughter #2
Our second daughter arrived and our world was temporarily turned on its head, she was born with a birth defect that couldn’t be diagnosed whilst I was pregnant. So rare that only 1/5000 children are affected. It was a shock to say the least.
We had to go to another hospital where she was put into intensive care and required surgery at 2 days old. We were blessed with the nicest doctors and nurses in the NHS, I will appreciate all of them for the rest of my life!
When it came to toilet training with her, again everything turned on its head. Her condition meant that potentially she may have had very little or no control over her toileting. This was not something that could be tested until we were there.
Suddenly, something we took for granted, became a bit more complicated. So we waited for her to show signs that she was aware. She taught us more patience then we realised we had.
We learned lots of tips during that time and spent hours research ‘normal’ behaviours. This is what I remember finding:
Toilet training tips
- Consistency is important. Nursery, childminders, school, relatives or friends that you visit or your child stays with must be following a very similar method to you.
Discuss a plan with regular childcare providers before you begin. You may find out some handy tips that they use too.
- Talk about the changes lots, talk about feeling wet and messy. We never used the word dirty as it’s associated with something yucky, we wanted them to know that it was normal and they’d get it eventually.
- A reward chart worked well for us. By now you might know what works well with your children, use it lots! We even rewarded the tries, it’s important to celebrate small steps.
- Pick a potty together, we went for a toilet seat as well. We felt having both was important in case they were more comfortable on one. It can be a very scary time doing something different so making a choice over what you buy is a great introduction.
- Clothing is VERY important. Make sure you don’t dress them in complicated clothing that’s hard to change, it’ll make it a chore for you and them. You will get changed many, many times, as will they!!
- Training pants were useless, they were like still wearing a nappy so our girls just continued to use them as a nappy. If you’re going for it then change to underwear, it’s going to get messy but they’ll feel the difference.
- We had a special toy that lived in the bathroom, it was only allowed to be played with whilst on the toilet. This encouraged them to not dread the bathroom and to sit for a few minutes. Just a few minutes is great on each visit.
With all this in mind; take several deep breaths, make a plan and begin having those conversations. You can absolutely do this and now is a perfect time to make a giant leap. Just remember this is a big milestone and you should all be very proud of your efforts. You can do this!!
If you’d like a website (that’s not trying to sell you something) then I would highly recommend this one; https://www.eric.org.uk/top-10-potty-training-tips
To help out with training we have created two different training charts and a training certificate to help your little ones progress, download for free: