It’s the time many of us mums dread - potty training. Cue endless accidents, lots of bribery… and toddlers crying because they REALLY like their nappies. Louisa Pritchard gives us five top tips for training even the most reluctant toddler. (We can’t guarantee there won’t be tears though. Sorry.)
1. Create a reward chart
Toddlers love praise. And stickers. So why not combine the two and make a chart that they can pop a sticker on every time they use the potty. If you decide there is a prize for a certain number of stickers, make sure you tell them what it is at the start.
2. Manage your bribery system
While it’s a good idea to use all means of encouragement, it’s probably best not to offer a sweet-per-wee bribe (believe us, all you get is a sugar rush toddler and wee all over the floor). We love getting an empty jar and then for every potty visit, getting our little ones to pop in a toy car or dinosaur. When it’s full, they get a new toy!
3. Get reading
Grab a copy of the book, The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it was None of his Business… sure there are pictures of dog, horse and rabbit poo on every page, but your toddler will love to read it on the potty.
4. Watch out for their cues
You might have asked them 20 times if they need the loo… only to be met with a ‘no’. But by starting to watch out for their cues (hopping around/ intense concentration) you can pop them on the potty before they actually do a wee or poo.
5. Don’t feel pressured
Remember, each child is different and will use the potty in their own time. Experts suggest starting between 2 and 2-and-a-half but this might be too early for your toddler. For your own sanity - and the health of your washing machine - tune out the SMT's (Smug Potty Trainers) whose little one has been dry since they were 1. Pah.