“Gee, you’re still in diapers??” Some comments towards your child from family or friends can plant some doubts in your otherwise relaxed mind, even if you are the most laid-back parents. Are diapers at this age really a problem? Shouldn’t my baby be potty-trained already? In our book, when it comes to such advice, ignorance is the best strategy. It’s your baby, not theirs. You’re the parent, not them. Read our tips on how you can make potty training fun and stress-free.
Take it easy
So what, if little Ann already uses the potty and is 6 months younger than your son. Every child is different (and unique!) We promise you: every healthy child will master potty training in the end. Or have you ever seen a teenager in diapers?
Don’t rush it.
There’s research showing that children cannot fully comprehend and react to their elimination needs before their 2nd birthday. To be honest, we’re not sure what kind of research was done to support this statement. Because in our experience, it’s not very accurate. We’ve seen children becoming pros at potty training at just 18 months and then there are children who conquer the potty at 3,5 years. And it doesn’t make them inferior.
Don’t compare. Ever.
Not even among siblings. Respect the fact that every child is unique.
Our recommendation would be to introduce the potty around the 2-year mark. Just casually—if your child gets it, perfect. If they don’t, no big deal. Put the potty aside and try again in a few weeks. Or months.
Also, completely ignore the advice of your older family members :-) Times were different back then, we all know that. If your mother was out of diapers at the age of 1, it may have happened as a result of some questionable potty-training methods :-) Listen to such advice with respect, then take whatever you want from it—whatever may work for your unique child.
Regular toilet regime
We’re avid advocates of regular regime for children of all ages (and parents, too.) Not that you should plan every minute of your day, but repeating rituals (especially in the morning and in the evening) are healthy.
Incorporate the potty in your daily rituals. Sit your baby on it in the morning, then after they’ve had their nap, after they’ve eaten, just before bath time and maybe even after bath (yes, running water can trigger some elimination processes :-). The goal is to make your baby feel comfortable with the potty. These rituals might save you some diapers, if you’re lucky.
The right time
“The right time” doesn’t mean your baby’s age. We mean the circumstances under which you start potty training. Ideal ones would be: at home, during your regular regime. Don’t start potty training when there’s already a big change happening - e.g. moving your house, when your baby starts attending new day-care, when you go on vacation or when there’s a sibling coming shortly.
Every deviation from the regular can be a lot for your little person to cope with, so make sure you start with potty training being the only major change in their life.
Explain the potty to your toddler; even if they don’t speak yet. They might not be able to talk but they do understand!
This next piece of advice might be a bit controversial but it works wonders. It may sound weird, but... SHOW THEM. Especially when there are no older siblings around and you do your business behind closed doors - how can your baby know that you don’t wear diapers like them, too?
Children love to imitate. Let them! It’s the most natural way to learn.
Engage your child into picking the potty - buy it together! You’ll see that your child will accept the potty more easily.
Praise success, don’t mention failed attempts
The title says it all :-) Praise when you can, but when potty training doesn’t go well, don’t mention it much.
We wouldn’t recommend any “treats” for potty training success. Your child is not a dog :-) Also, we don’t consider such approach sustainable. Words of praise are just fine.
Don’t comment on accidents much. Just take care of the consequences (wet clothes) but never make your child feel bad! It would make them feel like they’ve failed you. And most children, who have been making some potty-training progress, can be pretty disappointed with themselves in case they fail anyway. You don’t want to add up to that.
Day and night
Successful potty training during the day doesn’t have to mean you’re done with diapers at night, too. This is especially valid for children who sleep tight - their needs simply don’t wake them up.
Similarly to potty training during the day, potty training at night also takes its time and is very individual. Bear in mind that from the medical point of view, night wetting is considered absolutely normal until about 6 years of age.
Accidents at night can be approached two different ways: Either make your child wear a diaper (or training pants which we mention below) or get a waterproof mat for their bed. The mat will protect the mattress and washing the beddings is not such a big deal.
Let your child be independent
Children love to imitate adults and want to compare to you. Let them!
Dress your little potty trainee so that they can handle sitting on the potty by themselves. Ditch bodysuits that your child cannot unsnap, switch to T-shirts. Make sure their pants have elastic waist and can be pulled down and up easily.
If your baby is showing some progress in potty training, try Potty Training Pants! Your toddler can pull them down and back up like regular underwear but they have an absorbing insert inside which catches a little accident. The size of the absorbing insert varies and is getting smaller and smaller with your child becoming more and more confident in potty training.
You will appreciate them especially when travelling - on a tram, in a child car seat in the middle of a highway, during a long nap in a stroller - in the phase when you don't want to go back to using diapers, but travelling diaper-less is still too risky ...
Our Training Pants come also in size XL that fits even preschoolers.
Try also our Smart Diapers App out and get reminded when there's time to sit your toddler down on the potty. Download from GooglePlay or AppStore.