Potty Training Tips




Potty Training Tips

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If you are thinking about potty training, ready to start, or partway through the process and struggling you may be on the lookout for potty training tips that can make life easier and perhaps even speed up the process.

Tips could include training pants, choosing the right potty, and being able to tell if your child is ready to potty train.

Potty training is a big milestone for a child. And there are a number of things you can do to help the process. So here’s a few potty training tips.

Waiting Until They Are Ready

The biggest tip when it comes to potty training is waiting until your child is ready to train. The process will be immeasurably easier and quicker if your child can already identify when they need to go to the toilet.

Not that they are going or they have been, although these are signs that they are not far off being ready, but that they need to go.

They might start showing an interest when you or others go to the toilet and even tell you they need to go to the toilet and essentially tell you they are ready to potty train.

It also really helps if they are keen not to be wet and dirty, they might start to take their nappy off or ask you to change them. Potty training pants are great for helping children know when they are wet as they don’t absorb the liquid so quickly.

How to Tell if Your Child Is Ready for Potty Training

There can be a lot of pressure to start potty training at a certain age and yet we all know that children develop at different rates and so while one child may be ready to start potty training at 18 months or 2 years another may not be ready for training pants until they are well into their 4th year.

There is also evidence to suggest that if you start potty training too early it will take much longer for children to manage it. Whereas if you start the process when they are physically and mentally ready the process will be much smoother.

Luckily if you observe your child there are a few key signs that your child is ready to start potty training and if you can resist the urge to compare them with other children based on their age then you should have a smoother ride.

Signs That Your Child is Ready to Start Potty Training

Before you start potty training you need a few things to be in place. Children need to be able to control their bowels and bladder, they need to be able to understand and follow simple instructions and they need to want to be clean and dry. The readier they are the quicker potty training will be and there will be fewer accidents to clean up.

Some key signs to look out for include:

  1. Nappies are dry for at least an hour or two at a time. If they are peeing more often than this they have not built up the necessary bladder control and taking them out of nappies will likely result in constant accidents.
  2. They tell you they are having a wee or even that they need to go. This is a good sign that they are aware of what’s happening and will be able to use the potty.
  3. Often a good sign that children are ready to start potty training is that they recognise they are wet or dirty and want to either take the nappy off or ask you to change it for them. This shows they want to be clean and dry which gives them the incentive to get to the potty in time.
  4. There are visible signs that they need to go but are holding on such as fidgeting.

The best point to get to is the point where your child is telling you they need to go to the toilet before they go. Plus of course, there are other factors that might determine when you are ready to start trying.

It can be easiest for example if you have a couple of weeks where you can be mostly at home. Or you might want to wait for warmer weather when there will be fewer clothes to get wet and more opportunity to spend time outside and naked from the waist down.

Praising Success and Not Making a Big Deal Out of Accidents

Praising kids for their success makes them feel good and reinforces when they get it right. You can also make sure you introduce the need to wash their hands and praise them when they remember.

Equally it is important to stay calm and not make a big deal out of accidents. Just clean them up and get them ready to try again next time.

Accidents will happen, probably quite a lot, so pick a time to start potty training when you are up for it as much as they are, and make your life easier by using potty training pants, especially when you are out and about, or choosing a time of year when there are fewer clothes to change after an accident.

Kids need to know that accidents happen and that there is no shame in not making it to the potty on time otherwise they can get worried and this can slow their progress.

Having the Right Kit

Another tip for potty training is making sure you are ready for potty training and have the things you need to make your life easier.

The kit you need will depend on when and where you are potty training and how ready your little one is to train.

Potty training pants can be really helpful at containing accidents while not feeling like a nappy. They allow your kids to feel wet when they pee but they stop their clothes, socks and shoes from getting wet and dramatically reduce the number of clothes needing to go in the laundry.

Potty training pants can also be really useful if you are pretty much there but aren’t 100% confident of their ability to hold it till you can pull over on a long drive or find a toilet while you are away from home.

Another great tool for potty training is a travel potty as this allows you to leave the house more easily and not have to panic about rushing to a toilet or not being able to find one.

Defining the difference between training pants for potty training and pull-ups can be tricky as people often use the names interchangeably to describe both the disposable nappy style training pants and their reusable counterparts.

The name Pull-Ups is actually a registered trademark of a well-known disposable nappy brand, and so most disposable training pants are actually referred to as potty training pants or training pants in official marketing and on the packaging.

This is a great example of a brand name that has come to be used generically to describe a product like Hoover for a vacuum cleaner, band-aid for plaster, sellotape for sticky tape, or Play-Doh for kids modeling clay.

In the same way that nappies can be either reusable or disposable so can potty training pants. But if we go with referring to the reusable version as training pants and the disposable version as pull-ups then there are a few key differences to be aware of.

What Are Potty Training Pants?

Potty training pants are reusable absorbent pants that you can use to help ease the transition out of nappies while you are potty training. Potty training pants are a great way to give children confidence and help reduce the number of outfit changes and accidents you might experience on your potty training journey.

Potty training pants are designed not to be as absorbent as nappies so children recognise when they are wet. And as they realise the sensations that lead to them feeling wet they are more likely to get to the potty on time.

Potty training pants are also designed to look and feel much more like big kid pants and they can be used in the same way so that children can learn to pull them up and down all by themselves.

How Do You Use Potty Training Pants?

Potty training pants are designed to help ease the transition from nappies to pants as your child learns to use the toilet. Potty training pants can be used just like normal pants, children can pull them up and down themselves when using the potty, and yet they are absorbent enough to avoid a full outfit change if they don’t quite make it to the potty on time.

Unlike nappies that are designed to wick moisture away from babies skin as quickly as possible so they stay dry and comfortable, potty training pants are designed to feel wet when they are wet so children learn what it feels like when they have an accident.

Once children are ready to potty train you can switch nappies for training pants to boost children’s confidence and help them to feel more grown-up and responsible while at the same time helping them learn to associate the sensations of urination with feeling wet without having to change their clothes every time they have a little accident.

Do You Need Potty Training Pants?

Potty training pants are not essential for potty training but they can be helpful especially if children are keen to be out of nappies before they are really ready or struggle with getting to the potty on time when they are away from their home environment or distracted by other things.

Reusable potty training pants can be easily washed with the rest of your laundry and will certainly save a good few outfit changes especially in the early stages of potty training.

There are a couple of different styles of training pants, those that are all in one and those that are a cover with a removable insert which can be replaced after an accident without needing to replace the pants.

Are Potty Training Pants Any Good?

If you are thinking about starting to toilet train your toddler or have been potty training for a while but are still having frequent accidents you might be considering potty training pants and wondering if they are any good and worth the investment.

Potty training is not an overnight task, children generally don’t suddenly stop wearing nappies and get the need to use a toilet straight away. For most kids, it takes somewhere between 3 and 6 months to potty train, although it can take more or less time depending on the child, and will often take longer if you start them before they are ready.

This means there is generally quite a long period of time where accidents happen fairly frequently. Children and parents tend to be keen not to use nappies once potty training has started, and yet without the protection of a nappy there can be a lot of outfit changes and a lot of cleaning of carpets and upholstery.

And this is where potty training pants come in. Potty training pants offer a midpoint between nappies and pants. They are easy to pull up and down meaning toddlers can use the potty without needing a parent to take off their nappy first. But they are absorbent so that if they don’t make it in time you don’t end up with soggy clothes and a puddle on the floor.

Potty training pants are also designed to ensure your child can feel when they are wet which encourages them to associate the feelings of needing to go to the toilet with being wet in a way that doesn’t happen with nappies that are designed to quickly absorb the liquid and keep them feeling dry and fresh.

While the very best option might be to be able to let your little one’s potty train outside naked from the waist down so they can see and feel when they are wet with minimal clean up required this is not always an option. And so training pants can be very useful in helping children learn in the most empowering way possible.

Different Styles of Training Pants

There are two main types of reusable potty training pants. Absorbent pants like the Bambino Mio potty training pants that look and feel like big kid pants but have an absorbent and a waterproof layer to keep clothes socks and shoes dry. They are really easy to use and perfect for minimising clean up while still letting children feel wet so they begin to learn when they need to go.

Alternatively there are two-part designs like the Flip potty training pants. These combine a waterproof outer cover with an absorbent liner. Again they are designed to be pulled up and down by toddlers, but the Flip version does also have poppers meaning they can be opened up for easy changing if there’s a poo that doesn’t quite make it to the toilet.

Again they let children feel wet but with this design, you can simply replace the liner when there’s an accident. You can also add absorbency which can be great for car journeys or other occasions when you know you might need a little more protection but would rather not revert back to a nappy.

Differences Between Reusable and Disposable Potty Training Pants

Both reusable potty training pants and disposable training pants or pull-ups are designed to be used to aid the transition out of nappies and help with the potty training process.

The idea of both reusable and disposable options is that children can pull them up and down themselves meaning that so long as they know where the potty is they should be able to get to it and use it by themselves. However, beyond that, they are quite different.

For a start reusable training pants are reusable. You simply pop them in the washing machine like you would a normal pair of pants, dry them, and wear them again. This is great both in environmental terms but also cost-wise.

Potty training might be really quick but it generally takes somewhere between three and six months for children to get the hang of using the potty, longer for some, and accidents can be fairly common for many months especially if children are in different environments or busy and engaged doing other things.

Reusable training pants also look a lot more like big kid pants which results in two different benefits. One, children who are keen to not wear nappies anymore feel like they are wearing big kid pants but have the benefit of a bit of added absorbency and so fewer soggy socks and shoes and fewer full outfit changes are required if they have an accident.

And two, because they look and feel different children don’t feel like they have the safety of a nappy which can happen if they are wearing disposable training pants, which can indeed be used instead of a nappy and are preferred by some parents once babies start running around as they are easier to put onto a moving child.

Finally, reusable training pants are generally designed so that children feel the wetness if they have an accident so that they get used to the sensation of needing to use the potty resulting in their pants being wet.

Take Aways

•Children develop at different rates, so potty training may start at 18 months or 2 years for some, while others may not be ready until 4 years old.
• If you start potty training too early, it will take much longer for children to manage it.
• Luckily, if you observe your child there are a few key signs that indicate readiness for potty training. These include:
o Nappies are dry for extended periods of time;
o Child tells you they need to use the restroom;
o Child wants to be clean and dry; and/or
o Child is fidgeting or holding on when they need to go.

Pull-ups are disposable nappy style training pants
• Reusable training pants can be washed like regular pants
• Disposable training pants look and feel like big kid pants

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