Around 20 months, you might start to see signs that your little one is 'ready'. He or she might be showing interest in the toilet and what happens there, making a fuss about their nappy when it's dirty or even letting you know before they go, going two or more hours with a dry nappy, and importantly is able to sit on and stand up from the potty independently.
This is the time to introduce your little one to the potty. Ensure to make it exciting and fun, but understand that if he or she isn't ready - don't force it!
- Time it right! Research suggests that between 27 and 32 months is the sweet spot. Too early and their brains aren't developed enough, too late and you may be met with resistance.
- Prep! It is never too early to start reading stories about the potty or the toilet. Always have the supplies you need at the ready (potty, potty chart, rewards/stickers, etc), you never know when your little one will surprise you.
- Be open to changing your tactics. Whether you're planning on using training pants, straight to underwear, or naked from the waist down, don't feel like you have to stick to the first method you choose.
- Take away the pressure. It can take anywhere between 3 to 12 months (sometimes even longer) to completely potty train. Don't get disheartened if your little one doesn't seem to be getting it. We all get there in the end!
- Rewards! This is a tough turf to tread - some say rewards are great but others think your child will get bored of the treats if they get them too much. A happy middle ground is a reward chart - a sticker for every success building up to a reward for every 10.
- Don't dwell on the failures. A "whoopsy daisy, never mind!" and move on to the next toilet trip is all you need. Focus on the positives!