Blog 2: Potty training!

Posted on 10th January 2019


Hi All!

So my second blog was supposed to be about settling in. With the new setting opening, I thought it would be a perfect subject and I did write it but then time got away from me and I didnt post it in time :’). With that in mind, since Kind Hearts at St George’s opening on the 7th January, I have had a couple of parents talk to me about potty training so this is now our second blog topic.

 

Potty training is one of the many milestones we eagerly await for in Early Years as professionals. It’s a sign that our little ones are getting more and more independent and confident and we know how important these traits are to their development and self esteem in later life. As a parent you may feel pressured, anxious, excited, sad, happy or completely confused, all of the above emotions are normal and understandable! All I can say is, every child is different and will conquer this at different ages and that is absolutely fine! As a preschool, we care for children between the ages of two years old to four years old. All of the children we care for become potty trained at all different ages.

 

The first thing I say to parents when they approach me about this subject is: ‘Is he/she ready?’, signs of readiness are:

  • Telling you they need the toilet before going in their nappy.

  • Telling you they have been to the toilet straight after going.

  • Showing interest in using the potty or toilet by removing their nappy and sitting on the toilet or asking to sit on the toilet.

If they are doing one or all of the above, the likelihood is they are ready to give it a go. You should talk excitedly about potty training with your child and talk to them about using the toilet, tell them when you are going to the toilet or that you need the toilet to encourage that dialog with them. There are lots of children’s books around potty training, you can use these books to help teach children about the whole process but there is no better role model than you so being transparent about toilet use is probably one of the most helpful things you will do as a parent.

 

Once you have made the decision to potty train, I would avoid reverting back to nappies if possible especially if it’s just because your child is having accidents, only revert back if it is clearly causing them stress and they really aren’t ready in hindsight.

 

You can generate excitement and motivation in your children by getting them involved in the process leading up to it. Let them choose their own pants and knickers and even choosing their own potty/ toilet seat. The whole process will be trial and error… You might find your child prefers the toilet with a step, you might find they like to use their potty in the corner of a room or you might find you need a potty in every room to catch them in time! Either way, let the child lead.

 

So you’ve got your potty (or 4), you’ve got your new pants/knickers (and lots of them!!!), you are ready to go! Start the day as normal but add in a toilet/ potty sit before they get dressed. If they manage a wee, celebrate like you’ve never celebrated before! Give them lots of praise and really massage their ego. Get them in to their new pants and knickers and remind them that they are different to nappies so they will need to use the toilet for wee wee’s or poo poo’s. I would start with asking them if they need to use the toilet every 30 mins until you learn their toilet schedule. If you need to go out, take the potty with you so they can use it whenever and wherever! Expect accidents for the first few days/ weeks and remember that accidents are ok and make sure your child knows they are ok too. As an adult, it may be frustrating to have to wash more clothes or take a few minutes out of your day to change them, but this is a learning experience for them and as a parent, you should try not to scold them for any accidents they have as it turns potty training in to a negative experience and can cause anxiety around toileting.

 

If your child is having constant accidents and it isnt to do with them not being ready but because they are being lazy and would rather be in nappies, don't back down and put them back in nappies! Just pack even more spare clothes whenever you leave the house and keep them off of expensive furniture at home :’). Be consistent and persistent, let them know that you can be more stubborn than them and everytime they have an accident let them change themselves. They will soon realise sitting on the toilet/ potty and having a wee is easier than having to change themselves every time they have a wee. Be warned, it is easier said than done as I’m sure you can imagine! I have watched and encouraged a child to get changed for nearly 45 minutes before so if you are going down this route, expect to be late to A LOT of appointments! Just kidding! If you stand firm, your little one will soon realise you mean business and the ‘long get changed’ won't happen too often!

I think that’s the wee wee’s covered, so let’s move on to the poo poo’s. This is the harder part of potty training. Many children really struggle with the sensory side of having a poo on the toilet or potty… It’s the feeling of it leaving their body without the nappy to support it that causes the discomfort. Sit with them whilst they are having a number two and reassure them that it’s ok and encourage them to relax. Sometimes, reading a book to them whilst they sit on the toilet is a really good idea as it distracts them from the feelings and helps their body to take over. You may find that they master the wee’s quicker than the poo’s and that is very common for the above reasons. A story might not work with your child so think outside the box and use something that interests them to help create a distraction/ make them feel comfortable whilst on the potty. I’ve used bubbles, soft texture materials, stress balls, small world figures, the list could go on!! Get creative with it and keep trying all different things until you find the one that works for your little one! There is always a solution!!

 

I think that concludes this blog and all that is left to say is, enjoying your potty training experience and good luck!! Try not to pressure yourself or your child and follow their lead. Please feel free to comment on this post or on our facebook and instagram pages and share your experiences or tips and tricks!

 

Don’t forget, both Kind Hearts Preschool at Bishops hall and at St Georges offer stay and play sessions every day between 10 and 1130am to help you make a decision regarding your preschool needs and to give you the chance to see if your child is ready. The branch details are below and more information can be found on our website:

 

www.kindheartspreschool.co.uk

 

Kind Hearts Preschool at Bishops Hall,

Bishops Hall park,

Brentwood,

CM15 9NP

 

Facebook: @kindheartspreschoolltd

Tel: 01277 525 644

 

Kind Hearts Preschool at St Georges

St Georges Church,

Ongar Road,

Brentwood,

CM15 9HR

 

Facebook: @kindheartsstgeorges

Tel: 01277 500070

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