Sure this is a great time to potty train. You aren’t going into work, you’re child isn’t going to preschool or nursery, and you’re probably having a hard time finding nappies! But just because the timing seems ideal, you still want to make sure your child is ready before starting. If they are having a hard time adjusting to not seeing their friends and family or if they’ve exhibited regression in other areas such as eating or sleeping as a result of the lockdown, now isn’t the right time to introduce additional change. If your child is younger than 20 months and isn’t showing any of the classic signs of potty training, be cautious about starting. Don’t push them to potty train too early just because the timing seems convenient, or your chances of a regression down the line are much more likely.
Instead, it is ideal if your child is at least 22 months old and is showing one or more of the following signs of readiness: asking for a diaper change when they are wet or dirty, taking off their nappy themselves, staying dry for longer periods during the day or for naps/overnight, hiding to poop, being able to follow basic directions, and wanting to imitate the actions of other adults. That being said, some kids never show any signs of readiness, so if your child is already 2.5 years or older, you can start whether these signs are present or not!
Even though this is a great time to focus on potty training, it’s still important not to rush into the process without fully preparing yourself. Potty training is a big adjustment for everyone involved, not just your little one! Make sure you do some research beforehand to choose a method that you think will work best for your family. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all potty training method, so think about your child’s personality and how they learn to decide what makes the most sense. Make sure you’re getting tips from reliable sources too! You can find lots of free resources on my Instagram page as well as my blog.
Start slowly introducing the concept of potty training to your child without any pressure for them to perform themselves just yet. This is especially important for stubborn kiddos or those that are resistant to changes in routine. Some ways you can do this are by reading potty books, watching potty videos, “teaching” a doll or toy how to use the potty, inviting them to the bathroom with you when you need to go, and changing nappies in the bathroom and emptying any poo from the nappy into the toilet and flushing it away together. I also usually suggest allowing your child to choose their own potty chair, step stool, seat insert, and/or underwear to help them feel involved and in control of the situation. If they’ve chosen it themselves, they will be more likely to use it properly when the time comes.
Once you’ve taken some time to prepare, choose a day that you would like to start and for about 3 to 5 days beforehand, wake up each morning and “x” off the day on the calendar with your little one. Use this opportunity to build their confidence and prepare them for the upcoming change so they are eased into the idea without it being thrown on them all at once. Say things like, “3 more days until you’re officially a big boy!” or “You are going to look so cool in your new princess underwear!” If you’ve started potty training and need help, or if you would like more guidance on how to ditch the nappies, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck and happy pottying!