No Shit: Make Toilet Training Fun For Your Kid (And You!)
Potty training is a bittersweet moment for parents. Sweet because your little bubba is growing up and is almost ready to get out of diapers. And a little bitter, because they're growing up so fast and already reaching yet another milestone.
However, potty training is one of those things that can take a lot of time and patience, so making the process fun and stress free for everyone involved is one of the best things you can do to help your child during this phase.
Remember that everyone works at a different pace, so comparing your child to others will not help. Just breathe and let them take their time. Things will eventually fall into place and your child will happily be toilet trained before you know it.
Try these 7 easy tricks to take the pressure out of toilet training:
1. Don’t rush the timing
Instead of putting pressure on yourself and your child to hurry up and start using the toilet, watch out for signs like telling you when they have to go, or wanting to be changed promptly after doing a poo. Children become toilet trained at different ages and stages, and there is no point rushing your child until they are ready for it themselves. Don’t worry and enjoy the nappy stage for a little while longer.
2. Read books together
Using the big potty can be a little scary for some children, so ease the anxiety by reading picture books together to help them understand what happens. Explain how the flush works as some children can get scared of the loud noise.
3. Let them be involved in the process
Children often work better when they are involved in the process. For instance, taking kids grocery shopping turns them into better eaters sometimes. Likewise, have your child pick out the potty seat that they like best, as they are going to spending quite a bit of time on it. Hopefully the excitement of picking out their own special toilet seat will encourage them to use it sooner and without too much fear.
4. Stick to a routine
Everyone works best with a routine, especially little kids. The key is consistency. Establish whatever schedule works best for you and your child, and then stick to it every day so that the child slowly gets trained into going to the toilet at regular intervals at the same time each day. If your little toddler is already going to school, then perhaps try matching their school schedule if possible so that it’s easier for them to adapt. Having regular toilet timings will also minimise the risk of accidents.
5. Ready, aim, fire
You’ve probably heard of getting boys to practice aiming right for the bowl by putting a few pieces of KoKo Krunch into the toilet and getting them to aim at breakfast cereal when they pee. As silly as it may sound, making toilet training a game is actually a great way to take the pressure of kids and get them to relax and enjoy the process. Soon they’ll be happy to hop onto the seat and try doing number 2 themselves. And for a fun girl’s game, mix a few drops of food colouring into the toilet bowl and let her ‘magically’ change the colour of the liquid when she uses the toilet. She’ll be thrilled and you’ll be happy, too.
6. Reward them
Everyone likes a reward for a job well done. But instead of just complimenting your child, make every successful toilet visit a special event. You decide what works best for your child – a little sweet treat, an extra five minutes of TV, and so forth. The idea is to motivate your child into doing even better next time so that the reward gets better and bigger, and they start looking forward to using the toilet without even thinking about it.
7. Implement a sticker chart
Likewise, think about implementing the inexpensive sticker chart to accrue all the points your child has earned from each toilet visit and staying dry without any accidents. Children love seeing the number of colourful stickers swell up against their name, so they’ll be proud of it and take ownership of their toilet training journey. And perhaps if they earn a certain number of stickers over one day or week, they could swap them in for a really special treat. Win-win situation for everyone.
Global Day Of Parents
Today is Global Day of Parents, a UN observance day which celebrates the critical role that parents play in nurturing, protecting and raising children.
Need help with staying awake for those 3am feeds, "Marie Kondo-ing" your kids' bedrooms, or getting your child to eat more greens? Read our piece, "Parenting Hacks: Our Gift TO You On Global Day Of Parents". You're welcome - and have a great day!