Over the past few months lots of you have been in touch with pics of your little one using the Red Bus Reward Chart for potty training but every time I publish a potty training post there are questions, so I thought this would be a perfect topic for our third ‘Ask The Expert’. Thank you to Kirsty Ketley (also known as Auntie K’s Childcare and Consultancy) for answering these questions from our recent post.
How do you know when your little one is ready for potty training?
Typical signs that your child is ready are;
- Having long periods of time with a dry nappy
- They hide when they do a wee or poo
- They tell you when they have done a wee or poo or ask to be changed
- They tell you before they do a wee or poo
- They want to use the potty or toilet
You may find though that even though they are showing these physical signs of being ready, emotionally they may take a little longer so it is important that you don’t force the issue and let them come round to the idea in their own time.
How do you get your child interested in the potty?
Make your child aware of the potty and toilet and talk about what to do and what happens but keep it fuss free. There are many stories and apps available that may help and taking them on a shopping trip to choose their new big boy/girl underwear can make it exciting and fun.
My daughter will use the potty at nursery but not at home. How can I get her to start?
Most toddlers will happily follow what their peers are doing and so your little one may feel more confident and less afraid at nursery.
When you use the toilet try and encourage her to use the potty at the same time or ask if she would like to use the toilet instead.
If you feel she is perhaps just being a little stubborn, a reward chart, like the TotsUp Red Bus, may be useful but keep encouraging her, using stories and apps that are about using the potty to help and she may feel more reassured to use the potty at home.
My son will use the potty to wee but insists on having a nappy to poo.
This is very common. Firstly, do not say no to him using the nappy as he may end up constipated.
A good place to start would be to empty the poo out of the nappy into the toilet with your son watching and encourage him to flush the poo away. Often they are scared of the toilet flushing or don’t feel in control, so letting him be in control of flushing it away may help. You will then be able to encourage him to sit on the potty or straight to the toilet. This was the case with my son and after one flush he was fine.
If your son goes off to a private place to poo, like behind the sofa or in another room, then it may be helpful to encourage him to use the toilet or potty and explain you will not watch. Often, they don’t want an audience and in many cases the potty is on show for all to see. I have found this a problem with many of the children I have looked after and leaving them with a book and some privacy has done the trick.
Again the use of books and apps or a reward chart, like the TotsUp Red Bus Reward Chart can help as well as just giving it a bit of time – as they become more emotionally mature they will do it.
You can find Kirsty at www.auntiekschildcare.co.uk