Top ten tips for potty training

Over the past few weeks we have been potty training my daughter and she seems to have cracked it. Which inspired me to write these top ten tips for potty training, all beginning with P, to help your little one pee. These tips have worked with both of my children, one who is pretty laid back and easy going and one who is very determined, independent and strong-willed. It can be a completely unsettling time for a toddler, well and for you as well. Just remember that they are learning something huge and they are only small. They will get it, but it might take time. Be patient and don't show if you get annoyed with having to clean wee up for the fifth time that day! So here are my top ten tips, and good luck!

1.     Prepare. Have a potty available and toilet seats on your toilet. I also have a travel potty which we take whenever we go out. It is easy to be flummoxed by the amount of potty training products available, just get what you think will be useful. Our travel potty is fantastic, as is our potty training seat with a step, which makes it easy to get onto the toilet.

2.     Practice. Make sure the first few days and up to a week your child can either wear no pants, or have loose clothing. They will undoubtedly wee everywhere, so it is just to get them used to the idea.

3.     Pause. After the first week, put a nappy back on and leave potty training for at least another week. This is important. If you rush everything it gets confusing for your child. This step gives your child a chance to process what has been happening the week before. With both my children, I think this has been an important step. However, if your child has grasped the potty training process, then miss this out and continue as you are. With both of my children, they were not ready to continue on the first attempt, but after a brief pause, they grasped it.

4.     Proceed. Start again with training. I recommend using  pants with a waterproof layer rather than pull up nappies. That way your child's clothes won't get soaked, but they will get that feeling of wetness. In my experience, it makes them a little more aware of what is going on.

5.     Prompt. To start with, your child won't understand the sensation of needing to go for a wee or a poo, so prompt them at regular intervals, they will soon understand what it feels like.

6.     Praise. Praise your child whenever they get it right, but don't grumble or make them feel bad if they have an accident.

7.     Patience. Don't expect your child to be dry with both wee and poo straight away. Sometimes it is a lot harder for them to understand doing a poo on a potty. You could always keep a nappy around in case they refuse to go in anything else. If they don't go for a few days and you are starting to get worried, give them some prune juice or dried apricots and it should help them.

8.     Practical. Make sure your child is wearing clothes which are easy to take off so that once they understand the sensation of needing to go to the toilet, they can go by themselves.

9.     Persevere. They will understand it and they will be dry. It might be a frustrating journey, but it will have an end. I have potty trained a very laid back and compliant child and a very strong-willed and determined child. Both were dry within three weeks using these tips.

10.  Party! You now no longer have to pay for nappies/or wash disposables (well, unless you still use them at night, which my children still do). So you are better off. Allow yourself a small celebration at the end of an era!

I hope you have found these tips useful. I made a video which enabled me to go into a bit more detail, you can have a peek if you like. I wish you luck in this journey, the result is worth it!