Your toddler will not easily sit on the potty on his own. You will have to help and guide him. This process is also referred to as potty training. The word ‘training’ might sound a bit demanding. The important thing is that your child is stimulated to eventually go to the potty or toilet himself. We give you 10 tips below that will help you in the process of getting your child potty trained.
1. Drink a lot
Make sure your child drinks 6 to 8 water-based drinks a day to keep his or her bowel and bladder healthy. Avoid carbonated drinks, drinks with caffeine in them, and sugary drinks. Do not limit their drinks to help them stay dry as that won’t work. The bladder must be filled and emptied for it to work properly.
2. Check for clogging (constipation)
Your child should poop at least four times a week and the poo should be soft and easy to pass. If they have hard poop or go to the toilet less often, they can get constipated. Leaking, thinner poop can also be a sign of constipation. Please contact your family doctor if this is the case.
3. Wear comfortable clothing
To make your child’s potty training easier, it is important to choose clothes that are easy to put on and take off. Avoid troublesome zippers and buttons. Choose clothes that are easy to wash and dry. Practicing dressing and undressing can help. Let your child choose his own pants and practice wearing them to get used to the feeling.
Choose a pee potty
Let your child choose a pee potty if you are going to use one. Keep it in the bathroom and let him or her practice on it. You may want more than one potty to start with. If you use a children’s toilet seat, let your child pick them out. Use a foot stool for support when the child is sitting on the toilet.
5. Ensure there is consistency
Do not ask your child whether it needs to take a pee or a poo, because it may not know yet whether they need to. Call it ‘potty time’ or ‘toilet time’ and go to the potty every few hours. Start with once a day and build this up slowly. In the end, try sitting on the potty every few hours. If your child really does not feel like it, you shouldn’t force it.
6. Keep it short
Don’t leave them on the potty or on the toilet for too long, two or three minutes is fine. Keep some toys on hand to keep them occupied while sitting.
7. Encourage boys to sit down to pee
With seated peeing, the pelvic floor muscles can relax properly. This helps to empty their bladder properly. They may also have to poo. Sitting down will only make it a little easier.
8. Be consistent
If your child is being cared for by a family member or goes to a nursery or babysitter, make sure you let them know that you are doing potty-training and the way you want to do it. It really helps if everyone who cares for your child does the same thing.
9. Offer lots of compliments
Stay positive! For every small step like sitting on the potty, washing your hands, and getting dressed. Rewards are a good incentive. Keep it small and direct, a sticker or some candy for example.
10. Be patient
Potty training is a skill that may take some time to learn, so don’t be surprised if accidents happen at first. You might decide that your child is not ready yet. In that case, you stop potty-training and start working on it again in a couple of weeks.
When to start potty training depends on the individual child. Every child is different. They learn to walk and talk at different times and they also learn to use the toilet at different times. However, most children are ready to go on the potty between 18 months and 3 years old.
You know your child better than anyone, so you don’t have to start toilet training your child because other people think you should.
It has to be the right time to start potty training; when you can spend a lot of time and effort on it. For example, start during a vacation period. If you’re in a busy period, for example when you’re moving or when a new baby is on the way, it is not a good time to teach your child to use the potty.