Toilet training is one of the holy grails of parenting. You can’t wait for the day when you can ditch the nappies and transform your life (to one of ALWAYS needing to know where the nearest toilet is but that’s a whole other story!).
Before you head into the magical milestone of toilet training, arm yourself with a few survival skills to help make the process easier for everyone.
Wait until they are ready
While you might be ready to see the back of nappies forever, if your child isn’t then toilet training could be disastrous. Toilet training is a big milestone for a child and there are lots of things that need to “click into place” before they will be ready. I tried many times with my daughter to no avail. One night when I was getting her ready for bed she said, “I don’t want to wear nappies any more” and that was that. She never wore a nappy again.
Not waiting until they are ready can also lengthen the toilet training process and cause more heartache in the long run. Signs they are ready include them telling you they are ready, telling you when they have done a wee or a poo and wanting to take their nappy off or going to the bathroom/potty when they are doing a wee/poo. Sometimes you just know – trust your instinct.
Buy cheap undies
Toilet training can be messy. Sometimes, the carnage is so bad that there is no way you are going to be able to salvage the undies your child is wearing. If those are expensive licensed character undies, and you are throwing out a few pairs over the course of toilet training, it can add up. Instead, buy a cheap packet of undies for the toilet training period and save the more expensive “fun” ones as a reward for your child when toilet training is done.
Avoid toilet training when a big change is coming
If you are having a baby soon of there is another big change coming in your child’s life (e.g. moving house or changing day care centres) then avoid toilet training immediately before or just after the change. The change can upset your child and undo all of your hard work!
Remember that every child is different
Just because your friend had toilet trained all of her kids by the age of 2, or even if your first child toilet trained early, doesn’t mean that your second child will do the same. Toilet training isn’t a race to be won. Getting it right is the key so work with your child, when they are ready, to set them up for toileting success. Sticker charts work for some children while others may need to work to a timer with constant reminders. You know your child so work with their personality and you will have more luck.
Patience, lots and lots of patience
When you are cleaning up the third accident for the day, it can be hard to keep your cool. But you must. As simple as it is for us as adults, toileting is a difficult skill to master and you need to focus on reward rather than punishment. Wipe up the mess, don’t make a big deal about it and then, if you need to, pop outside or to somewhere your child can’t hear/see you and vent your frustration. Just remember that it’s only temporary and soon you will be living large in the nappy free life!
Good luck with toilet training your kid. The end of your nappy changing days are in sight!
What are your tips for surviving toilet training?