All parents will ask themselves – is my child ready to be potty trained? At what age should my child use the potty? How do I potty train my child? All of these questions will run around in your mind and the answer is – when the time is right for both the child and the family!
It must be the right time for you all to be able to spend lots of time and patience supporting this new and exciting experience. Most children start to be potty trained between 18 months and 3 years old, however, every child is different and will learn new things at their own pace. It is important for this process not to be rushed or put off, timing is everything.
How do I know if my child is ready?
If you think your child might be ready or if you aren’t sure, have a think about the following questions:
- Does your child show signs that they know when they have done a wee or a poo? Clutching at their nappy for example.
- Does your child try to remove their dirty nappy or ask you to do it for them?
- Does your child communicate when they have done a wee or a poo?
- Does your child talk about a potty or even follow you to the toilet, showing an interest in what the toilet is for?
If you have answered yes, then it sounds like you’re ready to go. Let’s start potty training!
If your answer is no, then let’s wait a little longer until your child is ready. Your little one needs to be comfortable and reassured without them feeling pressured.
Myths around potty training
There are lots of myths about potty training and more often than not, you should ignore them!
You might have heard that “boys are harder to train than girls.” Well, as a matter of fact, boy or girl, the process and progress of potty training will be the same outcome. Sorry for any parent hoping that one might be true!
You might have also heard that “we will try potty training at nursery first.” Potty training needs to be consistent so whatever you do at home, needs to be carried through everywhere else. You really don’t want your child having mixed messages so it is great to chat to your Nursery Manager about potty training when you think your child is ready to start. We can then work together to ensure that the process is as easy as possible for your child and you.
It is also a myth that “if you sit your child on the potty, they will know what to do.” Your child will need to understand and be aware of the physical effects that happen when he/she does a wee or a poo. Placing your child on a potty can be very daunting and often scary for children, so it’s important to talk about the potty before getting the potty out.
It’s not all going to happen instantly…there will be accidents!
There will be accidents and this is part of the process! In a few year’s time, you will be able to look back and laugh on some of these moments, hopefully! Throughout the process, it’s important to keep positive and give lots of reassurance and encouragement to you child. There will often be some setbacks, such as not wanting to sit on the potty and becoming upset, however, it’s important to stay calm. We don’t want your little one thinking he/she has done something wrong, it’s all a learning curve.
5 tips for potty training
So, with all things considered, here are our top 5 tips for potty training.
- Have a shopping trip to purchase the potty and some pants! Involve your child in the purchasing of these items. This will give your child the sense of excitement and responsibility.
- Be consistent: If you are potty training at home, you are potty training everywhere, including nursery. Keep us up to date with what you are doing and we will be sure to keep this consistent at nursery.
- Loose/easy clothing: Choose clothing that can easily be taken off, encouraging your child to pull trousers up and down. By doing this, your child will feel a sense of independence and it will help with their physical development.
- Use sticker charts and visual aids for encouragement and praise. Your child will thrive on receiving a little something each time they have sat on the potty and will encourage them to use the potty over and over again.
- Be calm, consistent and have fun! Make this milestone an enjoyable adventure.
How will we support you?
Each of our nurseries might take a slightly different approach but one thing remains consistent throughout, we are here to support you. At all of our nurseries, we understand that consistency is important in the process of potty training. We ask that parents inform us when they decide to start potty training and have a chat with us regarding your plans and routines.
We will, of course, try and follow the same routine you have at home here at nursery. It will be recorded on the starting points section on our planning so that we can enhance the environment relating to children’s interests and the different milestones they are achieving or working towards. The photo at the top of the blog, for example, shows the under the sea display in the bathroom area at Wombourne Nursery that was themed around the children’s interests. This invites the children into the bathroom and gives the area a calming feel. We can also look at potty training stories at circle time, talk about toileting throughout the day and encourage various self-help skills, such as dressing ourselves whilst at nursery.
The team at nursery are always here to chat to so before you even start potty training, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have to make the process as easy as possible for you and your child.
For further information and support please see the links below:
Amy Etchells, Nursery Manager at Sandhills Nursery Wombourne