One of the most talked about topics related to babies and toddlers is nappies. Full nappies, empty nappies and even the consistency of the content in the nappy. People without kids often ask you, “How do you cope with dirty nappies?”.
Well, as you know you just do, (or should I say doodoo) although it’s not so bad early on. The diet of an infant only consists of milk and changing nappies is not too confronting. Smelly poos tend to get worse at the age of 4-6 months when you start to introduce solids and purees.
Then they get to toddlers and their diet is pretty much the same as yours and if you leave a dirty nappy on the change table for a few hours it can bring tears to your eyes. Gagging for fresh air you think to yourself, “It must be time to toilet train”.
- When Is It Time For Potty Training?
A lot of parents look to start toilet training from 18- 24 months and some even try when they’re still crawling but the truth is, there is no real rule. The best time is when your toddler is ready. It’s important not to be forceful.
- How Do You Know When They Are Ready?
At toddler age they are quite good at communication and can start letting you know that they are uncomfortable in a wet nappy. Our daughter started by ripping her nappy off and throwing it in the air. Even when we put a fresh one on her she would do the same to that one. She just wanted to be nude (our “single” friends without kids found this a little confronting). We took this “Quirky Characteristic Flaw” and used it to our advantage. Periodically sitting her on the potty seemed to be a successful.
Sneaking off to hide under the table to do a poo is sign of awareness of their bodily functions and another attribute of “readiness”.
We noticed with our daughter that her nappies were often dry through the day and that she was “holding on” during the afternoon and going “wee wee” as soon as she was put in the bath. Being physically able to “hold on” is a good indication that she was getting ready to start toilet training.
Your child may become interested and curious about your bathroom habits, wanting to watch and copy your actions. Our little girl would even follow visitors into the bathroom (another confronting moment for our less children-ised friends).
- Big Kids Wear Underpants : Preparation and start time.
Some subtle preparation like reading potty training books with your toddler as a bedtime story can be advantageous . Taking him/her shopping to buy some underpants and a potty, letting them choose these items will also give them a sense of control and will create excitement when you get home to try out their new goodies.
Knowing full well that their underpants are going to be soiled and wet a lot in the early days of toilet training, you might not want to put a training toddler straight into brand new undies. Second hand undies of a sibling or cousin could be used in the early stages. If you have had them in diaper covers (non-plastic ones), you could use them as training undies also.
If you and your toddler are ready to tackle a diaper-less day, put them into some “big kid” underpants and easily removable clothing, keep the potty close by and maintain a watchful eye. Restricting (by this I don’t condone the use of chains of course) your child to areas with hard floors like tiles or outside (weather permitting) will make the clean up of accidents a bit more bearable.
- Accidents and Set Backs Will Happen!
Once they feel the wee running down their leg, they realize that something is not quite right. “Oopsies” we would say and sit her on the potty. Siting them on the potty directly after the accident helps them relate wee wee with the potty. It’s important not to get upset with accidents and to be very positive and encouraging when they hit the desired target. They are merely learning how to control their body. This is not the time for punishment or any belittling.
Of course there are going to be accidents and it seems like some weeks they are going ahead in leaps and bounds and the next week they want to put their nappy back on and aren’t interested in the potty at all. Know that it’s OK to let them wear the a nappy for the day. Letting them wear a nappy is not going to harm the process, but forcing them to go potty when they’re not ready can. Potty training is a big step for a toddler, but it is a natural step so it will happen. The time will come when they get back on task and little chocolate reward and a cheer hooray will be just the confident booster to get them back on track again!
There is a lot to learn and so much to be doing when you’re a toddler and while they’re busily going from one room to another carrying building blocks one by one, it is very easy for them to have an “accident”. After all, up until now it has been natural and perfectly acceptable to wee right where they are. Just like they learned to crawl and walk at their own pace, they will learn to go potty. Don’t be concerned with comparing your child’s progress to your friends children.
As a parent you must be supportive, calm and accepting of any accidents and be confident that your child will soon be a diaper free toilet trained toddler. It won’t be too long before your child will interrupt you cooking dinner and greet you with a full potty and a big grin on their face as if to say “Look what I have been doing all by myself”!
Jesse Jones has a parenting blog where she enjoy writing about experiences gained by raising her 2 children. If you would enjoy less toddler tantrums in your household come visit Parenthoodpro.info where Jesse Jones shares a common sense approach to parenting.
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* This article has been published on Parenthoodpro.