Toilet training your toddler is a milestone that will be here before you know it.
It’s an exciting step and there is no need for it to be scary or expensive. Here I share my top hints and tips for toilet training on a budget:
- See the signs
Bubba began to show an interest in going to the toilet for a while before we even attempted potty training. If your toddler tells you that their nappy needs changing, pulls their nappy off or becomes intrigued by siblings/friends/relatives going to the toilet then take it as a sign that they are nearly ready to train. At this point, we introduced the potty to the bathroom and simply spoke about it.
- Take your time
If your toddler shows signs of being ready then introduce the idea slowly. There is no hard and fast rule of how long it should take to toilet train and every child is different. You know your child best so be guided by them – if they find it too much, stop and start again in a few weeks.
- Talk together
When Bubba began to show an interest in toilet training I used my library app to search for and reserve some toilet training books that would help us to talk about it together.
Potty Superstar by Fiona Munro and Pat-a-cake is excellent and offers two different versions, one for boys and one for girls. It easily guides both parent and child through the steps and Bubba loves being a ‘potty superstar’!
Pip and Posy: The little puddle by Axel Scheffler is another favourite of ours. This gentle tale broaches the subject of accidents and is beautifully illustrated.
- Get equipped
Here are some toilet training essentials that we have found helpful.
– A traditional potty. We were gifted a preloved one which we cleaned and sterilised before use.
– A pouring potty. This potty has a small bowl which can be removed when you need to discard potty contents into the toilet.
– A toilet insert. This is a padded ring seat which slots on to your toilet seat to give your child confidence when using the big toilet.
– A portable potty. We purchased a ‘My Carry Potty‘ cheaply from Facebook Marketplace and sterilised it. It looks like a lunchbox but contains a potty and Bubba loves using her ‘penguin potty’ out and about.
– A foot step. Toddlers can find it hard to reach the sink to wash their hands. We found a Peppa pig step in Home Bargains which Bubba loves to use.
– Mild liquid soap. We use Aldi Lacura liquid hand soap which comes in large, colourful, child friendly varieties such as strawberry and bubblegum. Liquid hand soap prevents cross contamination and using a mild one can prevent irritation when washing hands frequently.
– Antibacterial spray. This allows you to quickly clean any equipment or spillages with ease.
– Spare clothing. In case of any accidents, always have spare clothing handy.
– Pull up nappies. Pull up nappies, if you’re not already using them, can help your child get used to pulling them up for themselves.
– Pants or knickers. We found sets of brand new knickers still in the packet in charity shops and jumble sales. We have plenty of pairs and Bubba likes to choose which ones to wear each day.
- Be prepared
Accidents will happen so expect them and be calm and encouraging when they do.
- Sitting pretty
The first few days of toilet training involved a lot of sitting and waiting on the potty. It can be tricky for toddlers to link the mental and physical side of going to the toilet. To help Bubba relax her muscles whilst sitting on the potty we tried:
– running the water
– blowing bubbles
– reading a book
– tickling or pulling funny faces
- Go outside
We spent a lot of time in the garden when starting toilet training. Being at home when the initial accidents happened meant we could clean them up easily and get changed too.
I hope these simple hints and tips will be helpful whenever and however you decide to start potty training. Remember to try and enjoy it – this is a huge life skill for a little one to learn and it’s all part of the parenting process.
Do you have any toilet training tips of your own? Comment below, say hello and let me know.
As always, thank you so much for reading.
Love, Thrifty Mumma X
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