HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® has developed an easy-to-use training guide with Dr Heather Wittenberg, so now you and your little one have just 6 Steps to Potty Success! Here we’ve covered some areas within the steps from beginning potty training to being consistent day and night and overcoming regression.
A simple way of deciding if your little one is ready to start potty training is with the Huggies® Pull-Ups® 8 Signs of Readiness. If they’re showing 3 or more of these cues, then it’s time to begin.
To begin potty training, your little one should:
- Be able to move around independently and pull their Huggies® Pull-Ups®/pants up and down
- Bowel movements should be fairly predictable
- Be able to understand what they are feeling when they sense the urge to go so that they can anticipate the need to sit on the potty
- Be able to express the need to go to the toilet so that you can help them with what to do next.
- Be able to follow simple instructions such as ‘let’s go to the potty’
They may look cute, but not all toddler clothes are helpful when potty training, in fact some make it almost impossible! It’s time to set aside the dungarees in favour of some super practical outfits! Wearing clothes that can be easily dropped to the ankles or kicked off completely so the knees can be spread apart makes weeing much easier and more comfortable.
- Singlets or T-shirts that do up under the crotch
- Hand-wash items or anything marked ‘dry-clean only’
- Stretchy leggings
- Trousers or shorts with an elasticated waist
- Skirts and dresses
You may have heard that girls are easier to potty train than boys, but the truth is each child will handle this milestone in their own way regardless of gender.
Tips for girls:
- When your little girl visits the toilet with you, talk her through what you’re doing to help her understand.
- Teach her each step of the potty training process from beginning to end, reminding her of the importance of wiping from front to back to prevent infection.
- Encourage her to play at potty training with her dolls and teddies. Dressing her toys in Pull Ups and teaching them to use the potty through role-play will instill the process in her memory and give her a sense of control.
Tips for boys:
- Little boys may find it easier and more comfortable to sit down to wee in the beginning, moving on to standing once they’re ready to try. Remind him to point himself down into the potty to help prevent accidents
- When starting out, it’s handy to have a potty with a lip to help prevent spills.
- Teach your son to have a little shake after a wee to remove those few last drops.
- Boys look up to their dads and big brothers; so let your little one visit the toilet with them to see how it’s done.
- Potty training your son will have its ups and downs so it’s important to stay patient. Celebrate all of his triumphs and remember that he will get there!
Night-time dryness always takes a little longer to master. This is because the bladder needs to be strong enough to hold on until morning, while also be able to send clear signals that it’s full so that your child wakes up to go to the toilet. Accidents are normal, so it’s best to handle these with patience, reassurance and support.
Support them with these simple steps:
- Create a calming bedtime routine and get him into the habit of having a last wee before bed.
- From the very beginning of a toddler’s potty training journey the key is consistency, so stick with his training pants once you’ve made the switch.
- While it’s not necessary to restrict drinks in the evening, it is best to avoid fizzy or caffeinated drinks as these can stimulate the bladder into action.
- Make sure your little one can get out of bed by himself should he need to visit the toilet during the night, and help him see where he’s going by switching on a nightlight or with glow in the dark stickers
Regression can happen for a variety of reasons, but is usually stress-related. A big change to their routine, moving house, starting nursery, a painful bowel movement or other unpleasant experience on the toilet, or being teased or punished for an accident can all cause a phase of regression.
Going back to basics is the best way to overcome a period of regression. With plenty of support and praise when appropriate, revert to your earlier routine of regular potty use and marking her progress together on a reward chart. Remind her to go to the potty when she’s busy playing and look out for signs that she needs a wee so that you can encourage her to go. If the accidents go on for more than a few days, or if it’s upsetting your child, going back to Huggies® Pull-Ups® for a while can also help.
Nothing builds confidence like praise, so to help your toddler feel more comfortable with the new skills their learning and to keep them interested in the task at hand, it’s time to cheer them on! Genuine, low-key, specific praise works best. Don’t just yell out, “Wow! Great job!” Instead, make an observation about the skill your child just demonstrated. “This time, I see you held your wee until you got to the potty. Nice job.”
Keep up the motivation and create a sense of achievement by setting goals. This is especially effective if you pair it with a reward. Start small and build up to bigger goals as your child’s confidence and ability grows. For example, you might set a goal with your little one of keeping the Huggies® Pull-Ups® dry for the afternoon, using the fade-when-wet graphics as a tool.
What about the use of rewards to encourage potty training? Little treats, watching a favourite show together, and phone calls to family to share the good news can all work wonders. Using stickers and charts as a reward can be very effective, too. Kids adore stickers, and earning one to place on a progress chart can be very motivating. Don’t forget to download the special Huggies® Pull-Ups® potty training certificate to present to your potty training star.
To start your 6 Steps to Potty Success journey, find expert advice from Dr Heather and potty training tips visit www.pottytraining.co.uk.