As a parent I tend to be fairly lazy. A lot of our parenting choices are both what we think is best for the kids, but also what is easiest for us. Breast feeding was one of those choices, it’s great for the child, but is also so much easier than battling with bottles and I never had to worry about bringing formula when we went out for the day. Cosleeping may be good for bonding, but it’s also great for me. I just need to roll over and feed my child back to sleep. A lot easier than getting out of bed and walking up properly! So why should potty training be any different?
Step 1: The Waiting
The first step in the lazy parents guide to potty training is to wait. Wait until your child actually wants to use the toilet and when they are taking themselves off to the toilet without any pressure. Then you will know they are both ready and want to do it.
Step 2: Toilet Seat or Potty
Neither of my children have used a potty, this is possibly because they are uncomfortable. Or maybe it isn’t as grown up as the toilet itself. Instead we have used a toilet seat (like this one) which our boys were both able to put on the toilet itself and climb up to sit on it. Our second child is still using it as he’s not tall enough otherwise. It’s perfect for giving him a little independence to use the toilet all by himself. Remember that independence also make it less work for you!
Step 3: Pants
Now your child is wandering off to the toilet without encouragement or bribery you will need pants. To make it even more fun for a child going to the toilet pants with a fun design on them will help. Every child is different, but you can find most characters from kids television or popular books on pants. If all else fails buy some iron on transfer paper and print the design onto the paper, then cut out and iron onto plain coloured pants. We had to use that method for our eldest when he was a toddler. He was determined that he would have ‘Chuggington pants’, but nowhere sold them!
Step 4: Expect Accidents
Yes it’s annoying when they wee on the carpet or poo in their pants, but it happens and it’s all a learning process. Even those children who want to use the toilet might not get there in time to begin with. So you have to expect a few accidents to begin with.
We always bring several pairs of pants and trousers with us now our littlest is toilet training. Best to be prepared and there is nothing worse than being stuck an hour from home with a child in tears as they are wet and no dry clothes to put on.
I am not sure how other people’s children have worked out night time. But as both mine were in their third year before they were toilet training we never had any issues at night time, they were always dry though the night. Do whatever you think is best and either go cold turkey with nappies like we did or use nappies at night if you aren’t sure about nights yet.
Step 5: Routine
Make it a routine of when you go to the toilet. Of course children will learn to go when they want, but what about when they want to go and you’re stuck in traffic somewhere?
As soon as we get up in the morning we get the kids to go to the toilet and just before bed (obviously). We always make sure both of our children go to the toilet just before we leave the house, when we get back and at least once when we are out (more if we are out for several hours).
That routine really helps in knowing there will be no accidents when we can’t find a toilet or there is nowhere suitable to go. We haven’t used the bottle trick in the car yet, I really don’t want to have to do that with the boys!!
Step 6: Don’t Throw The Nappies Away
At least not yet! Make sure your little one is happily getting to the toilet (most of the time). If it’s not working then just try again later, every child is different. My eldest was almost 4 before he was out of nappies and my youngest has just begun toilet training and he’s just over 3. We have plenty of friends whose children were ready at 2, admittedly they are mostly girls! Just don’t push them if they aren’t ready.
Good luck! Let me know any of your toilet training stories in the comments.
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