As a parent, one of the most challenging tasks that you will face will be introducing your little one to the potty. After a few unsuccessful attempts and using the last of your favourite washing powder and fabric softener to deal with the mess, the chances are that you will begin to feel slightly defeated - never mind the hundreds of bloggers out there who claim to have potty trained their kids in a week or less!
It is no wonder why so many mums and dads find themselves worrying about their little one graduating high school while still in nappies! But fear not. As long as your precious tot takes his or her time to get it right, rest assured that he or she will eventually grasp the concept. Until that time, here are some tips to help ease the stress and keep you motivated.
Patience is Key
Once the training has begun, it can become very frustrating, very quickly. This is normal, but it is important to remember that the more relaxed and positive the environment, the faster your little one will catch on. If he or she is taking a while to ‘go’, why not read him or her a story or sing a song together to make the wait more pleasant?
It’s All about Timing
To start off with, many mums will opt to follow ‘The Potty Planner’ training technique. This means taking your little one to the potty at short, regular intervals, every twenty minutes or so. Once he or she starts to get used to the set up, you will be able to lengthen the intervals slightly. While this technique has proven to be quite successful for many families, there are some children who might feel pressured by this routine approach. Give it a try and see if it works for you!
Reward Your Little One
Re-enforcing a successful potty attempt with a reward in the form of a few kind words or a healthy treat is a wonderful way in which to speed up the training process. A few other suggestions from moms all over the globe include rewarding your child with things like stickers, a warm, comforting hug and - a slightly less conventional reward – calling in the dog to show him what your intelligent little one has managed to achieve. You can be sure that your child will be beaming with pride when their favourite furry friend acknowledges their efforts!
The Naked Truth
Many (brave) parents find that letting their kids run around naked as much as possible during the potty training process helps to familiarise their little ones with the process a lot faster. This is because being naked makes it easier for the kids to recognise the urge to ‘go’. Once they have become familiar with doing their business in the potty when they are naked, they will have no problem recognising the urge to go when they are fully dressed. It’s definitely a technique to consider if you aren’t too worried about the potential mess.
Remember that the best way in which to reward your little one for his or her potty efforts and successes is with plenty of snuggles and kisses… so, as stressful as it may be, try to enjoy this process with your precious child. They really do grow up so fast.