How Can I Potty Train My Toddler?

Potty Training

We get more and more phone calls and emails from parents with larger toddlers that do not fit into conventional disposables anymore, or from distressed parents that are spending a fortune on disposable pull ups or from parents that are trying to get their little ones toilet trained.  Here is a link to one such query from a parent that needed a nappy for a larger baby, although only 12 months old.

Why are toddlers in nappies for so much longer now?

There are many reasons children are getting older and older before they are out of nappies: particularly at night.

  • Problem: Disposables are too effective: disposable manufacturers have made their nappies so efficient through chemical gels, that little ones do not even know when they have wet in their nappy!  How can they get to know their bodies and understand them and control them when they can not associate with wetness?

Solution: Cloth Nappies!  Our customers report that their little ones in cloth nappies tend to Potty Train up to 6 months earlier than their peers in disposables.  Why?  Simple, because they can feel when they wet so therefore have a better association with their toileting habits

Solution: Lets think about who benefits from your child staying in disposable nappies for longer…. the only people that benefit are the manufacturers.  So STOP buying them, give cloth nappies a go.  Many companies do reusable Pull Up nappies, or just regular cloth nappies.  Buy a few pairs for around $15 each, then reuse again and again. You will be amazed at how fast you get results!

  • Problem: Disposable nappies are too small for my baby

Solution: Cloth nappies or Pull Up Trainers often go up to 18+kg, they are often velcro adjustable so you get just the right fit for your child. Plus you can fold the insert to give them absorbency where they need it most.  The best part: your little one will probably potty train heaps quicker in cloth and you can finally wave goodbye to your disposable nappies : )

Tips for Potty Training

Now don’t get me wrong, there are a whole myriad of reasons as to why little ones may be in cloth nappies for quite some time.  Many babies are in such a deep sleep that they simply do not wake up when they need to visit the bathroom.  Night time training will come with patience and over time, but remember many little ones will wet their nappy as soon as they wake up in the mornings, so here’s a few tips to encourage dryness at night or day:.  It is the day time training we must tackle

  • Let them chose their own ‘Big Boy/Girl’ undies, make it a big deal for them
  • Be prepared to put up with a few days of wet clothes and just go for it.  Pick a day when you will be home all day and let them have a few accidents, no problem
  • Leave the potty lying around but don’t make a big deal about it.
  • After a drink, before a nap and just after a nap, pop them on the potty and read them a story or sing them a song, turn on the tap, running water always help, anything to take their mind off the job in hand.
  • Never scold them for an accident or non-performance on the potty, they are trying!
  • Try a reward chart – simple stickers is all you need, involve them in the process and make it fun.  The rewards need only be simple, an extra story, extra playing time etc.
  • Give your toddler their bedtime drink more than an hour before sleep time, this will give them plenty of time to empty their bladder before sleeps.
  • Do not send your toddler off to bed with a drink at night: they don’t need it and this is just inviting an accident.
  • Many toddlers have an issue with ‘pooping’ on the potty or the toilet: this is completely natural, again, tackle that later but being patient, conquer the wetting on the toilet/potty first.
  • Let them come into the bathroom while you are using the toilet, have a chat and let them flush the chain, let them see how relaxed you are.
  • Perhaps most importantly: read the signs.  When your little one tells you she has wet her nappy, congratulate her, these are early signs she is ready to start training.  She may follow you into the toilet and show an interest.  Great, encourage this.
  • Little ones of around 2 years often start showing an interest in Toilet Training, they may be making progress and then lose interest, and regress slightly, especially if a new sibling in on it’s way!  Don’t panic, leave it a week or 2 and then gently start again.
  • Involve your Day Care Centre: if your little one is at Daycare, involve them, tell them you are starting to Potty Train, most centres are very supporting and happy to have a few accidents, some will even have their own reward chart for your little one.  Remember children learn from their peers so they will likely try and copy others using the toilet.
  • Buy some foam soap : even my teenager loves this still, and when they wash their hands your toddler will love to use this.  How about stickers that you pop in the toilet that change picture when wet on: Weepals.  You can also try a simply Ping pong ball in the toilet: great for better aiming and it won’t flush away!
  • Positive reinforcement is the best, focus on what they are doing well, even if it is just washing their hands, don’t focus on the accidents.
  • Summer is the best time to have a go at potty training: let them run around naked and be free!
  • Finally, remember little ones can not hold their bladder the same way that some of us can, so when they say they need to go, they mean RIGHT NOW!  Pull the car over, jump up and get them to the toilet, remember if they have an accident,             it’s ok : )

For more tips and ideas, click here.

I hope this helps!  If you have any other suggestions or a nappy question you think we can help with, please just ask, we are all mums and dads ourselves and are there to help!

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