Tips To Make Toilet Training Easier

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Toilet Training Tips

To Help Make Your Experience Easier

We recently tackled toilet training our toddler, and it was no where near as painful as I thought it would be.

With a little bit of preparation it thankfully all worked out smoothly. It didn’t take too long for everything to click and now I only have to change nappies for one child.

If you’re looking at toilet training your toddler, there’s no need to stress. It doesn’t have to be super hard. And while I’m certainly not a toilet training expert I want to share the tips that helped make our experience easier than expected.

Pick A Method

There are so many toilet training books around. If you read them all, you’d be so confused and have no idea which strategies to use. Instead of reading everything, just read one book that you resonate with. For me, that was Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s ‘The Gentle Potty Training Book’.

I love the approach that Sarah Ockwell-Smith takes in all things parenting. Her methods are based in both science and experience. Her book was easy to read, easy to follow and the method she uses is straight forward.

I love the approach that she takes as it doesn’t involve rewards. Instead of teaching your child to wee/poo on command, toilet training should be about teaching your child their body cues. Helping them to learn when they actually need to go to the toilet, not to just go for a marshmallow or because you put them on the toilet every 15 minutes. 

If you’re not sure which book you’ll resonate with, head down to your local library. Read the blurbs of as many as you like, then pick the one which sounds like the best fit for your family.

Accept that Accidents will Happen

Accidents are all part of how children learn their body cues. If they have an accident it teaches them that they’ve held on too long and they’ll eventually learn to go sooner. 

Some kids may just one day decide to toilet train and never have an accident but they’re just like unicorn children who sleep through the night from 8 weeks. They exist, sure, but they’re definitely not the norm. 

Prepare for accidents and google ‘how to clean wee out of carpet’. Put a towel on your lounge, have a waterproof mattress protector, and have a spray bottle of floor cleaner on hand. You’ll need it.

And do your best to not berate your child for having an accident. They’re learning and it’s really not that hard to clean up a little mess.

I’ve heard of a method where you can’t leave home until your child goes 10 days without an accident. I don’t know about you but I don’t have 10 plus days with no plans.

It’s not worth stressing about accidents or making a big deal of them - they’re simply something that is pretty much inevitable.

Go Shopping & Prepare Your Bathroom

There are a few different options when it comes to toilet training paraphernalia. I wouldn’t recommend buying the potty that comes with an iPad holder or any fancy technology.

The best thing we bought for toilet training is this toilet seat and step. This one is more expensive than most, but it is the sturdiest one I could find. Rory can climb up himself and feels comfortable on the seat. We have ours set up all the time in the second bathroom so that if I’m breastfeeding or busy, Rory can go to the toilet on his own. 

We also have a padded seat for the toilet (which doesn’t have steps). You can buy these from baby stores or in the baby section of Big W or Target. Or you can buy toilet seats from Bunnings that have a normal size seat and one for children too.

The padded seat cover was especially helpful in the first month or so when we were at someone else’s house. It was something he was familiar with and made him feel comfortable. It also helps make the big toilet seem less scary.

I think it’s also worth having a potty. Some kids will prefer to learn on a potty first, so it’s handy to have that option. We also pack our potty for long car trips or when we go camping.

It’s worth investing in seats/steps that your child feels confident using, especially when they’re using them on their own.

Make Sure Your Partner is on the Same Page

To avoid confusion you need to make sure that you’re both approaching toilet training with the same ideas in mind. You’ll need to use the same words when asking your child if they need to use the toilet. And also have the same way of dealing with accidents. 

If your little one goes to daycare or spends time with our carers you’ll want to get them all on board too.

When going through such a big period of transition and learning, you’ll want to make sure that everyone is saying the same things.

It only takes a simple, quick conversation to make sure that everyone involved in your child’s care is teaching your child the same way that you are.

I think it’s really important to commit to toilet training once you start. You don’t want to give up too soon and make your child seem like they’ve failed. Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s book includes a checklist of signs so that you can be sure that your toddler is ready to start toilet training. Trust your gut when it comes to starting - I really think we all know when they’re ready or not.

It might take a few weeks for everything to click in your toddler’s mind (and even then, the occasional accident is very normal). But when you’re mentally prepared and know what to expect, toilet training doesn’t have to be hard.