Being a parent is not for the faint of heart at the best of times but the potty training stage of parenting is uniquely challenging. Potty training or toilet training is a messy business and unlike dealing with diapers, the mess is not contained in one place. But have no fear, it is possible to make this process easier and less messy! We have collected 10 hacks approved by parents who’ve made it through the potty and toilet training stages with their toddlers to make this phase easier for you.
Most children are ready for toilet training from about two years old and some even as early as 18 months. Once your child starts showing signs of being uncomfortable in a diaper and is generally becoming more independent, the first step is to decide whether you want to train them using a potty or a toilet. Our advice is to use both. Start with potty training and then gradually advance to toilet training. A potty is mobile and less scary than a toilet and serves as a great introduction to getting your child ready for the toilet.
Make sure you have all the right equipment. You need to get the right potty for your child and a step for them to stand on when they use the toilet. A product like the Bumbo® step ‘n potty, for example, is a comprehensive potty training solution. It easily converts from a soft and comfortable potty to a toilet trainer and step. As a step, the Bumbo® step ‘n potty is the highest step in the market and helps your child maintain a comfortable seating position. You can also purchase the Bumbo® step stool if you only need a step. A comprehensive product like the Bumbo® step ‘n potty provides you with a three-in-one solution that can see you through from potty training to toilet training. You’ll also need a seat that fits securely inside your toilet seat that prevents your child from falling into the toilet. Some parents also refer to it as as a toilet seat reducer, as it reduces the size of an adult toilet seat, making it easier and more comfortable for young children to use. The Bumbo® toilet trainer provides comfortable seating for your child and instils a sense of confidence and familiarity during the transition from the potty to the toilet.
Potty training is also stressful for your child and while they’re getting the hang of it, you have to give them options. Scatter a few potties around the house so that your child can get to one easily wherever they are in the house. You don’t need a potty for every single room in your house but having two or three placed strategically around the house really makes it easier for your child to reach a potty before they have an accident.
This one is for the truly brave but the rewards are worth the initial mess. Take off your child’s diaper, throw it away and never look back. When the diapers are gone your child learns that when they need to go they have to use the potty or the toilet.
Once your child starts using the toilet without the toilet seat reducer, have them sit backwards on the toilet, facing the lid. This helps contain the mess and makes it easier for you to clean up if things go skew, which they are likely to the first time around. This step is just for the first few times they use the toiled without the toilet seat reducer and as soon as they can do their business without making a mess have them face forward again.
We all need a little encouragement now and then, even more so for your child. Keep a bowl filled with some sweet treats to reward your child for successful potty attempts. This makes potty and toilet training less stressful for everyone.
Privacy? Give that right up as a parent. Children learn by example, so instead of constantly explaining the potty and toilet process to them, take them with you when you go. It’s no fun but gets the results you need.
When your toddler has to go, they have to go. They can’t hold it in just because you’re in the car. Keep a potty like the Bumbo® step ‘n potty in your car and make sure it’s always there when you’re out on a drive with your toddler. You can use disposable liners to make cleaning up easier.
You have to make potty training fun whenever possible. A colourful way to do that is adding some food colouring in the potty and watch the magic unfold as your child notices their wee change colour when they tinkle. Once your little one does poop, you're left to dispose of the mess. Make it easier with this tip: Set toilet paper in the potty, so all you need to do is pop the toilet paper into the diaper pail.
Potty training and toilet training can be frustrating but don’t let it get to you. Let your child learn at their own pace and don’t overthink the process. Your toddler will ace this like they have every milestone thus far. You got this.