When we did market research last summer parents told us that they found potty training stressful and on the whole scored it as a 5 out of 10 on the stress scale.
We have compiled the following tips to try to help keep parents Zen during potty training.
- Have realistic expectations
If you google potty training, you may find sites promising that you can potty train in three days. This sets expectations very high and for the majority of people this is a myth! In our experience it takes between 2 and 4 weeks before you can expect your child to be accident free in the day.
- Expect accidents
Accidents are a necessary part of potty training. Today’s disposable nappies are very dry and it’s not until children are in wet pants that they start to understand the first stage of potty training which is recognising when they have done a wee.
- Choose a good time
We always say start training when the child is ready, however it is a good idea to balance that with the practicalities of what else is going on in your life. Choose a settled period when there isn’t much change in your child’s life, and when you will have time at home to practise, especially for the first couple of days.
- Be prepared
Buy the kit, especially plenty of pants, and keep them close to hand. It’s also a good idea to have a couple of changes of clothes packed for first trips out. Dry Like Me pads can help catch small accidents which can help reduce the stress and mess especially when venturing out for the first few times.
- Do it your way
It’s great to listen to the advice of others, but you don’t need to follow it unless you think it will work for you. You are the expert at potty training your own child!
- Communicate with others how you are training
This includes with partners and other family members as well as with childcare providers. At one of the first ever potty training workshops we did we spoke to a lady whose husband was forever putting a nappy back on their child when he was left in charge!
- Rewards aren’t just for kids
Potty training is a challenge for parents and it takes energy to be perpetually positive in the face of accidents and piles of washing so make sure you take some time out to recharge your batteries. Making me time is probably one of the hardest things for parents to do when they have toddlers, but it is worth it, as are you!