Potty training - it's messy, it's frustrating, but we're all in this together!
Potty training two or more toddlers isn't usually as difficult as parents expect it to be and in most cases will soon become a distant memory. However, it can still be quite challenging and messy as it is hard to keep an eye on more than one child at a time.
- Let’s get this first obvious one out of the way…If you have a boy you will clean parts of the bathroom, you never knew were there. Sorry, it’s a fact. Things could get messy!
- Yes, it will become totally normal to get excited about poo. Don’t be surprised if you accidentally find yourself describing the shape and size triumphantly to your partner later that day.
- If you have recently started potty training and your child suspiciously decides they MUST go and sit in their car seat, follow them. That’s a mess you don’t want to deal with!
- You must face facts that there will be wee or poo on your carpet at some point and you’re going to have to pretend as though it’s no problem at all (even if you’re secretly crying inside).
- If your child decides to suddenly ‘pop a squat’ mid-dance routine in the middle of the room, it is time to get to the potty to avoid the previously mentioned carpet situation.
- Comfortable clothing and footwear is key (Not just for them, for you). When they decide they desperately need to go whilst in the garden, you’re going to be glad to be wearing comfy shoes to run through the house to the potty in.
- During this time, a quick trip to the park will feel like you’re packing for a weekend break. Extra underwear, extra wipes, a change of clothes. You hope you won’t need them but accidents happen and you need to be prepared.
- They will need to go at the worst time. Toddlers love attention so if you’ve just taken the opportunity for a two-minute breather while they are happily playing, you better believe they’ll catch on that needing ‘to go’ means they get your full attention again.
- If you’re out for lunch and your little one successfully poops in the toilet, prepare to be embarrassed as they run back to the table announcing it to everyone, loudly and proudly.
- They’ve finally got it. They understand. You’ve been successful…. And then they have an accident. Don’t get disheartened, the occasional accident can happen, especially if they have had a big change such as a new sibling or moving home.
Here’s our top tips…
- Wait until your child shows signs they are ready
- When the weather is warmer it will be easier as they will be wearing less clothes
- Get them involved in choosing the potty so it is one they like
- Where possible, buy one for each child so they feel treated as an individual
- Keep clothing simple to remove
- Give lots of praise
- Try to remain calm so they don’t pick up on your frustrations
- Try to avoid starting when there are other major events happening e.g moving home
But if there's one thing we wish someone had said to us before starting, it's this...
You will read as many books as possible and memorise all the methods you can but chances are you will scrap all that in the first hour and start making it up as you go along.
Just remember to try and not to overwhelm yourself with lots of information – we have a multiples specific factsheet and videos with some tips and support to get you started.