Practitioners: Tips I’ve picked up along the way…
Communication is Key
Always remember communication is a priority for a smooth transition from nappy to potty. Encourage and demonstrate communication with your families. One way you can do this is by updating parents throughout the day with how their child is getting on using the potty whilst they are at nursery. At hand overs, ask the parent how they are getting on at home. Make the experience as engaging as possible for them! Sing a song whilst they are sitting on the potty or read their favourite book.
Be open minded
As comfortable as the child may be with you, some children may struggle to use the potty if you are too close to them or if you are looking at them, they may be more comfortable using the potty in a toilet cubicle with the door closed. Of course, safety and supervision is the priority so always ensure you can still observe them clearly but are keeping enough distance that they are comfortable.
If a family has approached you to discuss the beginning of the transition I would take this opportunity to begin introducing the potty to the child. One way you could do this is by reading stories about potty training during circle time.
I also encourage offering as much independence as possible for the child
This can be quite a challenging time for little ones and often they feel as though a part of their independence has been taken away from them. A Way you can do this is by asking them when they want to go to the potty; “would you like to go to the potty now or in 5 minutes?”. Another way you can promote independence is by allowing them to choose what clothes they want to wear. Maybe offer them two pairs of trousers they can choose from them.
Advice from our practitioners
“Routine is a huge piece of potty-training success. At the start we recommend a timer and ask the children if they need the potty. The key is consistency, be sure to use positive reinforcement, praise your child when they’ve used the potty or identify when they’ve needed to go.” – Vicky Wild, London Lane
“I recommend that parents go cold turkey. By allowing your child to feel the sensation of having an accident they will likely want to stop it from happening again meaning they will feel encouraged to use the potty in the future”. – Emma Wilson, Woodside
“I would suggest role play activities with dolls and toilets too, to make it a fun activity that can all engage in as potty training can be stressful so having opportunities to mimic it during play will lessen the fear for some children while still educating them in a safe space”- Biana Donald, Langley Park
“I believe it is important to understand how your child communicates with you in their own unique way, some children use different words to tell you when they need to go to the potty or use actions this could be by pointing to their bottom” – Abbey James, Oxted
Each Journey is Different
Every single child will have a different journey; some children pick it up quicker than others. A survey made for mums showed that 35% of parents believed that girls took to the potty more easily than boys and that 54% of parents of girls started potty training before the age of two compared with only 38% of parents of boys. However, children are unique and will all have their own personal transition journey from potty to toilet so try not to put pressure on yourself as a parent.
Erik Erikson’s theory of child development discusses creating the perfect balance between safety and autonomy in potty training. Your child needs to feel safe to feel independent.