We are often asked about how to start potty training, or if it’s been going well and a child has suddenly started to regress, what to do to get their toilet training back on track.
Our advice is always to take a step back and re-establish a good potty training routine.
Routine is the basis of our lives, and in the same way that a lot us ‘grown ups’ are creatures of habit, the importance of consistency and regime cannot be underestimated when it comes to our children. Repetition and reinforcement help them learn and develop their skills as they become more independent with age.
A change in your child’s living environment can be the trigger that knocks their toilet behaviours out – particularly if there are big changes going on that can be distracting, such as a new baby, new house, starting nursery or introducing playgroups, or even the breakdown of a relationship. These can all be a unsettling for little ones and it’s logical that they may lose a bit of confidence in dealing with new situations.
So, whether you are thinking about how to start potty training, or simply trying to help your child through a period of change, we recommend taking a step back and thinking about instilling (or re-instilling) a good potty training routine.
Start by talking your child through the routine, and take them to the loo with you. Get them to practise sitting on the potty (even if it’s wearing a nappy) so that they get used to the idea. Remember, around the age of 2 years old is usually when most people start to potty train, but if you think your child is ready earlier, you can introduce the routine earlier. Likewise, take their lead if you don’t think they are showing the signs of readiness to potty train.
Here’s an example of good routine:
Change your child’s nappy in the bathroom as this is where grown-ups go.
Change your child standing up, to make them an active part of the process – this signals a step away from having their nappy changed for them on the floor like a baby.