So you’re feeling ready to ditch diapers?!! How exciting! And nerve wracking! And sometimes intimidating!!
Whether you’re starting to feel that you’re just over diapers, you think your child is ready, or maybe they have initiated some interest in the toilet or potty, there are a few basic concepts we want to make sure you know about before you embark on your journey!!
This is a Journey
Potty training or toilet learning is the most difficult and complex skill your child will be learning to date. Setting our mindset and expectations that your child isn’t going to learn how to use the potty successfully overnight is an important step. On average it takes 6 months to have urinary continence and 6-7 months to have stool incontinence if you start and your child is over 2 years old. If you start earlier, like 18 months, you’re looking at closer to 10 months before continence is obtained.
Accidents are Going to Happen
Just like any new skill you may have learned yourself that was challenging, you’re going to have good days and bad days. Learning and practicing a new skill isn’t always linear – you may have weeks with no accidents, and then all of a sudden several in one day. This doesn’t mean your child is behaving badly, doing it on purpose, or has forgotten how. Just keep encouraging them so they feel confident again to try again.
Encourage your Child
Speaking of new skills. Imagine yourself learning something new at work or a new hobby that was particularly challenging. Your toddler needs your constant support and encouragement to develop the self-confidence for the long-term to keep practicing. Practice really does make perfect, and we want to provide praise and encouragement so they feel excited about this journey with you. This is exciting for everyone, including your toddler!
You are likely already very familiar with your little one protesting, saying no, or refusing to do something. It’s important to keep in mind that developmentally your child is built for pushing the boundaries and testing your limits. This is how they figure out the world and is appropriate. This can be particularly exhausting when you’re potty training because it takes such a long time. It’s important to not engage in opportunities for power struggles so you keep potty training fun! Instead of prompting your child to use the potty when they’re doing the little pee dance by saying ‘Do you need to use the potty?’ or ‘Do you need to pee?’ – these can be met with a direct ‘NO!’ and you’re entering a struggle. Instead of fighting with them, offer them choices so that they can feel they’re in control and part of the process. Try something like ‘It looks like your body is telling you you need to pee, would you like to go in 2 minutes or 3 minutes?’ or ‘It looks like your body is telling you you need to poop, do you want to use the upstairs washroom or the downstairs one?’. It is important that if you offer choices that you respect the one they choose.
Check out our Support
If you are wondering about our methods of toilet learning – check out my page to see my packages on private 1:1 support on how to initiate potty learning with your little one. I also have potty training general workshops every few months so check my events to see when I’m hosting my next one!