My Toilet Training Tips
Well, here we are! In the midst of toilet training. Something I hadn't given much thought about until Alina decided that she wanted to start doing wee's in her potty the other week.
Since Alina turned two there have been two topics I've felt a little pressured on when it's come up in conversation. Breastfeeding and toilet training...
I feel there is an unspoken expectation/age limit on these topics and if you're child is still boobing or wearing nappies by 2.5 people are genuinely surprised. I don't think they're judgemental, but certainly surprised...
My parenting approach is that my daughter will do things when she's ready, in her own time. I refuse to force anything on her that I know will be upsetting and turn what can be something new and exciting into something unenjoyable for us both.
We have had a potty for her for the last 8 months and since it was purchased she has used it as a toy! Pretending to go, making her dollies go and even asking mummy and daddy if we needed it haha. When it came to actually using it however, any time she had a nappy off and we'd place her on it she would scream and kick. She wasn't ready and we backed off!
Lately what I have been doing differently is placing her potty in the toilet. She is usually nappy free most of the time at home now and a few days ago when she followed me into the toilet she copied me on her potty and we both went haha! I thought it was a once off but congratulated her and made a really big deal about it and she was very happy with herself. That day each time she recognized her body's cue for a wee, she went on her potty and has been since. She's yet to do a number 2 and I think it will take sometime to get her fully toilet trained but we've officially started!
So, my message to you firstly is... Don't feel pressured to start toilet training until your babe is READY! and believe me, you will know.
Here are my tips to what I believe helped us get started;
- Forget the closed door policy... I let Alina join me in the loo (rarely do I have a choice) but if she want's to wonder in and hang out I let her. I tell her that I'm doing a wee, that afterwards I need to wash my hands and I aways make a big deal that 'yay mummy did a wee in the toilet' haha.
- Let them have nudie time at home. There will be plenty of accidents but it's all part of the process with getting them familiar with the cues of needing to go to the toilet. Many a time my hubby or I have picked her up mid wee and popped her on the potty and she's finished up there. Now she recognizes the cue her little body sends her and she holds it until she finds her potty.
- Make sure you choose a place for the potty so that they know where to find it and it's always there. Ours is in Alina's toilet downstairs, that way it's her space and we call it Alina's toilet. She'll come to me and tell me she needs to go and I'll walk her in.
- Make it exciting. Make a big deal about it if they have a successful wee on the potty. If they have an accident reassure them that it's ok! They do feel embarrassed and pick up on your annoyance if there's a puddle on the floor or carpet so try and keep your emotions in check. They need to have positive associations with the exercise.
- Look out for cues or if they've been nappy free for a while and there's no accident yet. Take them to the toilet with you. Put their potty down and pretend to go to the toilet and put them on their potty. See if they'll go with you. (Yes, perhaps I'm a bit wacky but it worked for us haha).
You may find you try all of this and bub just isn't ready and that's ok. No matter what age they are they'll get their in their own time! I mean, we eventually did... I don't know any adults still in nappies haha!
The next stage of toilet training for us is going to involve shopping for some big girl knickers and making it fun and exciting for Alina. Then have a few trials of heading out without a nappy and asking her if she needs to use the toilet. I'll check in with you guys again once phase two is initiated haha!