If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the task of potty training (or, as I prefer to call it – Potty learning. I don’t know about you I’m not comfortable with the concept of “training” my kids to do anything… unfortunately the term “potty learning” isn’t paticularily google-able…) then I’m your gal. This contraversial right of passage for you child has always seen many a parent running for the hills or quivering in the corner. Let’s just chill for a minute, as I have some potty training tips you are going to want to read…
Why – because everyone and their friend Sally seems to want to tell YOU how to do it. Sigh.
So – if you want to cut the crap (s’cuse the pun), lessen the stress and minimise the overwhelm when it comes to potty training then lets dive in to my top five potty training tips for toddlers. As a twin mum of 3 – I’ve approached this from all different angles, girls, boys, multiples etc. The first time round things did not go smoothly and it was a huge source of stress, so with twins I apporached things way differently and in turn had a much more positive experience. Here’s how….
1. Quiet the Noise.
By noise I mean – everyone else. Friends, family members, Karen from playgroup, school playground mums, that weird artcle you read that told you you were doing it all wrong etc etc. By al means grab some books that align with your desired approach if that helps you, but what you really need to do is get real good about not caring what other people say.
You know your child better than anyone, what they like, dislike. What gets them excited and what makes them happy. So quiet the noise and lean into the feeling of starting when you and your child feel ready. Stop reading things that tell you if you miss the boat the whole experience will be a disater. I don’t know about you but I never met an adult that didn’t know how to go to the toilet.
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met an adult that didn’t know how to go to the toilet.”Maria – Twins & Things
2. Pick your Moment.
Once you’ve deiced when your child is ready – one of the best potty training tips for toddlers is to pick the right moment. The easier you make this on yourself – the more relaxed you will be throughout the process. The more relaxed you are, the more comfortable your child will feel. So if you know the time is right but you have a crazy work week coming up, or they are moving house, or starting a new school – or it’s just plain inconvieneantly freezing outside, you might want to wait.
My twins were probably ready a good few months before we started – but weather, illness and trips away made the whole thing more awkward. So we waited and picked a moment our schedules were more clear, the weather was warmer (easier for accidents and laundry!) and they were free of coughs and colds.
3. Stop Expecting Stress.
I made a very concious desicion before I helped my twins learn how to use the potty – that it wasn’t going to be stressful. I felt old anxiety creeping in from the first time round (not plain sailing, we rushed) that with two it HAD to be hard. Then I realised, if by coming into the situation expecting stress – Then stress is probably what I what I would get. You always have a choice, and when we feel stress and anxiety – thats normally what starts showing up. I decided to let go of expectations and let go of stress.
So choose to let it be simple for you, lower your expectation and instead of expecting stress, expect things to be lighter.
4. Get them involved.
Kids love feeling in control – put the empasis on them being the “Potty Boss”, the “Boss” of their own bodies. I never forced my children onto a potty (well, maybe mid accident if they were busy, or prior to leaving the house to somewhere with no toilet!) It is normally easier to simply tell them they are now in charge of when they want to go use the potty, move it round the house with them – and just casually remind them time to time where it is.
I’ve found long term – this works better, as they learn to listen to their own bodily queues of when they need to go, rather than someone telling or forcing them. Story books and videos / cartoons etc are also helpful to make them, feel prepared and understand whats about to happen. Then get them involved in picking their own pants and potty, make it fun!
Sidenote – while you may find it works for you, we never used stickers or rewards. It just didn’t feel right for us and exhausting to keep up with!
5. Be Prepared!
When potty training toddlers – the more prepared you are, the more in control and less overwhelmed you will feel.
So maybe cover any expensive rugs or carpets with old sheets for now, get some handy floor and cleaning wipes close to hand and always always always take spare clothes and underwear wherever you go. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it! In fact anything you can do for yourself during this transition to lessen your stress and overwhelm is a good idea, whether thats getting out for a daily walk, meeting a friend, squeezing in a workout or hiring a cleaner or meal delivery service for a while to lessen the load. The more relaxed you feel during this process, you can garantee your child will feel more confident and relaxed too. Good luck!
If you enjoyed this blog pop me a message or comment – I’d love to hear from you! You’ll also love My Tips on letting go of mum guilt – which you can read about here. You can find me on my Instagram at @twinsandthings13.com so drop by there and we can virtually hang out! To never miss a blog join the twins and things community here, see ya soon mama x