Not long to go before our kids go nappy free all day. Today is all about the how to make your first day of toilet training a breeze. The ready and set chapters in the Potty Talk book are super helpful to make sure you don't forget anything.
Let me tell you a secret - toilet training can be a success or failure based on the way you "sell it" to your child.
I love to build wonderment and mystery by having a treasure box arrive on the doorstep on the morning we start toilet training. Put your child's name on it (one per child if you have multiples) and some stickers around a theme that they love.
Swing open the front door and use your best whisper voice (which has magical quality). "Look at this, it has your name on it...shall we open it and find out what's inside."
Help your child to open it and explore the contents including:
* A treasure box aka cardboard box with things to decorate it
* 6-8 pairs of new undies that have a favourite character or object on the front. They can put on a pair when they open the box.
* The Looloo game board (or other reward system) where you explain to move the object/character along you have to keep the character on the front of your underwear clean and dry
* A bottle of bubbles with a bubble blower for them to use when they sit on the toilet/potty
* A book about kids using the toilet
* Photos of your child printed out with them doing each of the steps of toilet training. You can put it together with the steps in order and stick it around the toilet room or make a special book
* Food colouring to change the colour of the toilet water
* Books to read about kids using the toilet. You could also include dump truck books to show how a dump truck dumps it load.
* If you have a toilet training doll aka one that has an open mouth to drink water, that trickles out at the bottom; then this can be a useful prop to use during role play on day one of toilet training.
Explain the rules of the game:
1. Your job is to have fun and get your wees & poos in the loo, not in your undies. To win the game you need to keep them clean and dry.
2. "When you hear the timer on the cellphone or microwave will go off zoom over to the game chart (stuck on the toilet door where they can see but not touch it) and you have feel the front & back of your undies."
"Are they clean and dry?" Cue excited, Hollywood inspired voice as you marvel at their brilliance!!!
3. If they are clean and dry - "You can move your character along one square. When you get to square 5 you will get a warm fuzzy which means you can open something from the treasure box"
4. "Since we are here let's see if you can catch a wee or a poo on the potty or toilet."
What happens if they are wet?
Record the time that they had an accident so you can see if there are any patterns through the day ie are they having an accident 20 minutes after a drink?
Turn down the volume on your voice and say one simple phrase "remember wees are for the toilet" then silently help them clean up. Don't give attention for the behaviour you don't want to see repeated. Save your energy for when they do the right thing.
Don't more the character backwards or give negative consequences. They know they have not done the right thing and don't need a lecture.
How often should I take them to the game chart?
Start on the first day with every 30 minutes, if by lunchtime there are no accidents then change the timer to every 45 minutes. Then gradually stretch it out to 1 hour.
The aim is for them to have lots of success and often they will have accidents between 4-7pm as they become more tired so you may need to take them a little more often during this window. If they can get to a warm fuzzy on the game chart sometime in this window then it really helps them to be more motivated.
In the first 4 days of toilet training, they will wee and poo way more often than they normally would as they get their head around how to read their body signals and illuminate their full bladder. A Weepals sticker is a great way to help them to do a continuous stream of wee in the potty.
Should boys stand up or sit down?
Sit down to wee and poo. He will let you know later down the track when he is ready to start standing and aiming in the loo.
Here is a useful video about toilet training I encourage you to pay special attention to the third gear method. This is the best method if you want to nail toilet training quickly.