Some children are really keen to start potty training and our research found that little girls often tell parents they want to start training before the parent had planned to start. On the other hand, there are a number of children who just aren’t that keen. These are often the ones that are quite happy with the current nappy wearing arrangement and who would rather spend their time doing more enjoyable things than potty training!
The key here is to try to make potty training as much fun as possible. Here’s our list of tactics that we’ve heard other parents use to make it fun…. you’ll probably have a good idea of which ones will work for your own child.
1. Buy the kit together
Taking children out shopping and letting them choose their own potty and grown up pants can be a great way to get them motivated to start potty training. Also, let them choose things like their own hand wash or toilet roll. This helps them feel like potty training is empowering them and is allowing them to act like a big boy or girl.
2. Offer choices
If you can, buy more than one of the kit you need so that there is always a choice. This means that you can present options rather than just the choice to take it or leave it. It’s a subtle difference but asking your child would they rather use the toilet or the potty, the red soap or the white soap, wear spiderman or superman knickers, takes the option of not doing either off the table. This continues the idea of empowering them and making it fun to choose. Who doesn’t like a game of, ‘would you rather?’
Likewise, it’s a good idea not to ask, ‘do you want to go to the toilet?’ as the response is often, ‘no’, and it’s difficult to move on from that!
3. Get some novelty products to help
There are a wide selection of novelty potties and even one that holds an ipad! Toilet stickers that change colour when wet and floating balls are all good fun, little boys especially like floating toilet toys that can be aimed at.
4. Make the bathroom a fun place
Put some toys or books in the bathroom to keep children happy and still! Some posters on the wall can also help, or if using a reward chart put it up in the bathroom.
5. Rewards can work really well for children
The reward used can be personally tailored to suit your child. Traditional rewards such as chocolate and stickers can work well. These are effective when they are given straight away, or some children are happier to save up for a bigger reward. Jam jars to collect marbles in work well, as marbles can then become currency to exchange for other rewards. These rewards can be ‘things’ or experiences such as spending time reading a favourite book together, a trip to the park or favourite shop.