Welcome back to my Adventures in Potty Training. Part III is a collection of things I learned/ am learning along the way. Useful tips and tricks to get the job done, that I've either invented or
stolen borrowed from other mums.
- As in every other aspect of childcare, stick to the number one rule – consistency!!! Don't use the start-and-stop approach (no nappy one day, nappy the next). It confuses them in learning to listen to their bodies. (Of course, in this case, if toddler is just not getting it or showing a lot of resistance in going to the loo or having more accidents than success, maybe he/she is still not ready. In that case, give it a break and try again after a few weeks).
- Initiate your toddler to the idea of using the potty before actually doing so. That helps them make more sense of the whole thing. Let him/her see you using the loo. Tell your toddler you feel like doing a wee and must go to the bathroom in order to do so. That helps them associate pee-ing and poo-ing with the toilet.
Read them books/ show them cartoons that explain what potty training is, and how to go about it. I was gifted Pirate Pete's Potty by a friend, and it helped Little Man get interested in the potty. (Princess Polly's Potty is the girl's version).
- Potty Training and rewards (feel free to call them bribes; they are often inter-changeable where toddlers are concerned) go hand-in-hand. I mean, why else would a toddler who has had the comfort of pee-ing and poo-ing whenever and wherever he likes in the security of a nappy, be bothered to stop playing/ seeing TV/ monkeying around to go use the loo. In Little Man's words, it's so "boring"!!!
So, make them want to go for the reward. Stickers work a charm, but most toddlers need a more tangible reward, like sweets, toys etc. But be careful with what you offer, because you could land up feeding your toddler far too many sweets or spending far too much money on rewards.
I didn't go with sweets/ chocolates, but with gingerbread man biscuits (I made Little Man believe they are special biscuits that he will get ONLY when he does a wee on the toilet; and that the Gingerbread Man is watching from outside the window to see that he does. If successful, he will come through the window and present himself to Little Man. My sweet, innocent son actually looks for him outside the window!!!). However, now I give him gingerbread man's face or hands or feet or body only, instead of the whole biscuit, because after a successful weekend of weeing on the loo I realised he was ingesting far too many of those little men!
- Keep them entertained while on the loo, at least in the initial stages. Read a book (make it a special book, one you read ONLY when on the loo); tell a story; count; sing songs; sing the alphabet; give them the tablet – ANYTHING to distract them from the fact that they are sitting on the loo.
- Potty Training = a lot of mess, accidents and resulting laundry. Here's a handy tip that served me well – fill one bucket with dettol solution (or any disinfectant) and one with clothes washing liquid. So you can clean the mess and soak the soiled clothes at once. Brilliant tip, I feel.
Any tips/ ideas that helped you through Potty Training? Do share…
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