Today's post is all about potty training! Here are my top tips :)
1. Start when you (and your toddler) are ready. Don't rush into things just because of what other people tell you as only you will know when the time is right! There is no "perfect age" to start potty training. You will know when your toddler is ready. Usually some tell-tale signs are that they tell you when they've done something in their nappy or they show signs of discomfort when their nappy is full.
2. Buy lots and lots of underwear with fun characters/designs that your child likes on them. For Emilia we bought tons of Disney Princess, Minnie Mouse, Hello Kitty & Doc McStuffins ones which got her really excited about wearing them like a "big girl".
3. Reward with stickers! I made Emilia a progress chart with separate rows for "Pee" and "Poo", then whenever she'd go on the potty she would get to pick a sticker for her chart. The "Pee" row filled up pretty fast compared to the other one but it was still helpful for her to have visual motivation and be proud of her own progress. I still reward her with stickers now but for different things, like finishing her dinner or eating her vegetables :)
4. Pack a change of clothes in your changing bag...always. Include socks, knickers, jeans/leggings/tights/trousers and probably a third change of clothes too just in case! You never know when there could be an accident and I even do this now, even though Emilia is potty trained (for the most part!).
5. Pack wipes and a nappy bag. Don't forget that potty training will be messy and you'll probably need both of these even though your toddler is not in nappies anymore! I found that wipes were a lot cleaner in the beginning especially when Emilia was used to them rather than toilet paper. Accept that things will get dirty and messy, and you will probably have to throw out a lot of underwear in the beginning so buy LOTS!
6. Pull-ups are good for night time & naps but try not to rely on them too much! I am all for Pull-ups but I wouldn't recommend them all the time, otherwise your toddler will get lazy! I like them for sleep times because although 90% of the time Emilia wakes up dry, it saves me changing her whole bed if she does have an accident.
7. Don't get discouraged...there will be setbacks with potty training but you have to think positive. Sometimes it's a case of two steps forward, three steps back but that's normal. I used to beat myself up about it when Emilia would have a few good days in a row and then one whole day of accidents...I used to think it was my fault but it's really not. They are just learning and getting used to the loss of control they had when they were in nappies. The key is not to give up when you've already made so much progress, just accept that there are going to be off-days and keep going!
8. Learning your child's routine will prevent accidents. As you go along with the potty training you will quickly learn your toddler's routine as far as when they go to the toilet. I find that if I put Emilia on the toilet at certain times during the day, this is the best way to ensure that accidents don't happen. Because I've figured out (for the most part) when she normally needs to go, it helps me guess what's going to happen next.
I hope you found these tips helpful! Be sure to check out my video on Potty Training Tips below and let me know what you think!