TOILET TRAINING - Advice & Tips from Real Mums
Toilet training the unspoken part of parenthood that no one talks about or teaches you!
It’s a crazy concept really – from the day they are born we chuck them in nappies and let them go and then all of a sudden you realise they are showing signs of wanting to know about the toilet and talking about their wees and poos ad now it’s time to make them understand the feeling of needing to go plus not going in the nappy or their pants which we have allowed them to do for so long!
The time has come for us with Millie, to be honest she’s been showing small signs for months but we didn’t want to put pressure on her or to do it while we were travelling now we have slowly started and she’s picking it up pretty quickly from what I can tell, but who knows really – tomorrow she will probably forget what the potty even is!
Tonight I wanted to share with you real life tried and tested tips and tricks from real life Mama’s who responded to my call out on Instagram asking for advice.
First of all, my own ideas and plan!
Like I said Millie has been showing signs for months of being reading including telling me when she has just gone or needs to go, having a huge interest in me on the toilet (haha sorry for that TMI but I think it’s a sign), asking if she can sit on the toilet, taking off her nappy because she has been to the toilet and talking a lot about her wee’s and poo’s.
We really want to take a gentle approach with her and ensure we don’t scare her or push her as I know if we did she and wasn’t ready or didn’t want to we would be setting ourselves up for failure. Millie is a very determined little soul and knows exactly what she wants and when she wants it. She has naturally decided when she no longer wants to do everything herself from breastfeeding, eating purees, drinking bottles and being spoon fed.
A few things we have been doing and plan to do:
● Giving her an hour or two in the middle of the day with no nappy and the potty in plain sight with constant reminders or questions if she needs to go. This has worked amazing for us as she tells me yes or no or just goes on there herself as she gets better we will increase the time and eventually have her in undies the whole day.
● Millie has been wearing pull-up so she can pull them up and down herself if she needs to go on her potty or the toilet outside of those couple of hours of nappy free time.
We use “Little Ones Nappy Pants” which we love the affordability and quality of. See my full review HERE.
● Giving a lot of positive encouragement when she does go and never getting upset with her if she has an accident
● We are going to buy some undies this week after all the suggestions from other mums so she understands the difference between her nappy and the undies and also so she doesn’t get used to wearing nothing.
● Sticker chart. Millie is a huge sticker fan so I’m sure this will work for her.
● Sticking to focusing on day toilet training and mastering that before we worry about overnight training. Like how do you even do that any way??
TIPS, TRICKS AND ADVICE FROM MY MAMA COMMUNITY:
When I put the call out on my Instagram I couldn’t believe the response! Hundreds of replies with tips and so many excited to get some tips and tricks to use themselves. Unfortunately I can’t fit them all in here so I am using the ones that seemed to be the most popular. Some of these may conflict with others so pick and choose what you would be comfortable with or what you think your child will respond to!
● The absolute number one response was to ensure that you don’t start too early, only when the child is ready (showing signs and interest), let them lead the way and never to pressure them.
● Don’t make comparisons between your own child and someone else’s just like with everything else when it comes to development – your child will be ready and capable in their own time.
● TALK, TALK, TALK - Talk about using the toilet and undies around them, ask them if they want to and encourage them.
● Have a potty (or toilet) in visible sight all the times once you decide to start.
● Spend time with either no nappy or undies and continually ask them every 10-15 minutes if they need to go. For a gentle approach start with an hour of no nappy/undie time and progress to more time.
● When it came to whether you should use a potty or the toilet it was 50/50 – some say use a potty so you can take it around the house with you and because its less intimidating for them and others said to buy a step and a conversion toilet seat so there is no need to transition from potty to toilet (personally we have decided to try a combo of both and see what she likes).
● Take your child to the store and let them choose their favourite undies (maybe some with their fave Disney or cartoon character) so they are excited to wear them. Someone even suggested to tell them that their character doesn’t like to get wet so you need to tell mummy when you need to go wee’s or poo’s.
● Have a reward system – sticker chart, stickers on potty, smarties, treats, a rewards chart or just lots of clapping and praise when they go.
● A toilet song that you sing when they are going or it’s time to try.
● The 3 Day Toilet Program. This one was recommended many times. I haven’t researched into it but apparently is a PDF you can find on the internet which can train them in 3 days. If you’re a determined Mama have a research in to this and decide if it’s right for you.
● Never get upset with them if they have an accident. Point out next time they can or should use the toilet/potty but never get them in trouble.
● Be mentally prepared for the challenge but stay focused.
● If your child isn’t understanding or you think once you have started that they aren’t ready – stop and try again in a few weeks or when they are showing signs again. Never force or pressure them.
● Sit them on the toilet or potty and read to them to relax them.
● Completely take away nappies during the day (except for their nap where you should use pullups so they think they are a pair of undies) and be persistent no matter how many accidents they have. This will require staying at home all day for days on end and reminding or asking every 15minutes if they need to go or sitting them on the potty/toilet.
● Focus on day training first and night training once they are ready and fully day trained.
● Summer is the best time to toilet train so they can run around bottomless.
● If you're toilet training a boy teach them to sit first and then stand later.
● Once it’s time to night train buy disposable sheet liners that stick to the top sheet.
● Buy cheap clothing that is super easy for them to take off or pull down and that you wont be upset about the mess or needing to dispose of after a few wears.
● Let your child take charge and have ownership. Let them go in private, flush the toilet after and wash their own hands and praise them for being so grown up!
● Don’t push or force them to do poo on the toilet/potty. If they get scared they will stop going and can lead to constipation.
● If you’re going out and about put a pair of undies on under their pull up so they feel when they wet themselves.
● Make sure you, your partner and other caregivers are all aware and are doing the same thing to ensure that your child doesn’t get confused. Make a plan of how to approach it that you all agree on.
● As soon as your child wakes in the morning sit them on the toilet/potty for their morning wee and hopefully soon they will ask to do it when they wake up.
● Some Mums said use pull ups in between and some said don’t use pull ups at all during the day or they get confused. For us taking a gentle approach we have decided to use pull ups in between her nappy free time.
● Be prepared for accidents absolutely everywhere so have lots of wipes on hand always!
● Always encourage but don’t pressure them to go.
Okay, so these were just some of the tips and advice I was sent. I know some of it can be overwhelming or confusing but I gather that some parents take a more gentle approach and others just go for gold and are more determined to get it done quickly and at once.
For our pull-ups, nappy bags and wipes we use Little One’s brand from Woolworths.
You can even buy online and have them delivered so if you’re stuck at home toilet training you won’t need to leave home.
Good luck on your toilet training journey and just remember we are all in this together!!
If you have more or different tips please leave them below or comment on my Instagram! Im sure all the other Mummy's would love to read also.
*This blog is written in collaboration with Woolworths Littles One’s but I would never promote something we don’t love or use ourselves.