When a child shows interest in potty training, they show a desire to copy their moms/dads/siblings behaviours of going to the toilet and sometimes resist having to wear a nappy. They can communicate and understand when they need to pee/ poo or just after they have peed/pooed most of the time and are happy to sit on a potty/ toilet. Their nappies are drier and lighter- indicating some kind of bladder control as they can hold their bladder for longer periods of time. Some regular accidents still occur within the first few weeks and months of potty training so a few accidents here and there doesn’t mean your child is not ready.
•When is the right time to start potty training and is there a difference in the average age for boys and girls to be ready to potty train?
I don’t find there is a big difference between the readiness between boys and girls. It completely depends on the child. Typically toddlers are ready to be potty trained any time between 18mo and 2,5yrs- some can be later or even earlier. It’s often easier to start potty training in the warmer months when they can run around bare bummed or just in a pair of panties/ underpants.
•How do I make potty training a fun experience for toddlers and parents?
Make sitting on a potty or a toilet a positive experience. Potties or toilet seats which are fun colours or shapes make it more appealing to your child- some potties even sing a little song when used! Parents should praise their little ones when they have success on the potty/ toilet with enthusiastic words of praise or songs. Parents don’t need to reward their toddler every time they pee or poo with a treat as you don’t want to set up the expectation that every time they go they will get a treat. Parents should avoid scolding their kids when an accident occurs- it is part of the process of learning and sometimes cannot be avoided. It is sometimes useful to leave your child in their wet panties/ underpants for a minute or two so they learn that it is uncomfortable and should be avoided. Don’t always rely on your child to tell you when they need to go- prompt them repeatedly (and least every hour initially) so they get many opportunities to achieve success toileting.
I love (and used for my 3 kids) Meg Faure’s 10 day potty training plan. It’s clear and easy to use! You can download it off her website https://www.megfaure.com/potty-training/
Article by: Tasha Perreard
Tasha Perreard is a Registered Nursing Sister, an Internationally Certified and South African Certified Lactation Consultant as well as a mum to 5yr old twin girls and a 2,5yr old boy. She works at Thula Baby Centre in Mouille Point as a Clinic Sister, Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator along with Heather Wood and Christina Brose. Thula Baby Centre is a well baby clinic offering antenatal classes, weigh-ins and growth monitoring, Lactation support and advice about settling fussy babies, routines, starting solids and sleep issues amongst other baby and parent related issues. They also provide vaccinations in line with the South African National Guidelines as well as the private vaccination schedule.