Five toilet training traumas we all go through (and how to tackle them)
No one said toilet training was going to be easy. Well, if they did, they are most likely lying. Sure, some little ones learn to go to the toilet without a single accident. But most don’t. Most take days, weeks, even months, to master this skill.
Along the toilet training journey, most of us can expect a few wet patches and binned dirty undies. Here’s a few common problems you may encounter and our tried-and-tested solutions that just might help.
Play, pee, play
Toddlers are busy little beings. And sometimes they don’t think to stop and go. So, they don’t stop. They just go. All over the carpet. They may not even seem to care that they are now playing in a puddle of urine.
Your little one needs a bit of encouragement and a lot of constant questioning about whether he needs to go or not. He may not realise he has to pee until he has done it (or is halfway through). Ask him every 20 minutes if he needs to go, guide him to the toilet and praise him when he does it.
You may also want to invest in a little potty that he can sit on and play at the same time. Just be sure to make a BIG deal when he does pee so he acknowledges that he has done the right thing.
If your little one isn’t getting it after a few weeks, it might be that he is simply not ready yet. And that’s okay too. Take a break and try again a few weeks later.
The nappy connection
Some children won’t pee or poo unless they have a nappy on. It’s what they are used to, what they associate the sensation of peeing with and it’s what they are comfortable with.
It’s time to help her step outside this comfort zone and into the washroom. Lead by example by letting her watch you and then asking her to do the same. Explain the facts on toilets – it’s for big girls, not babies, and you are a big girl now.
Some toddlers also have a firm attachment to their nappy, almost as if they feel naked without it. If this is the case, then offer your toddler a compromise. Two hours nappy free for two hours with a nappy on. Or let her wear her nappy if she does a wee on the potty first.
And, if all else fails, you can always decorate the toilet with stickers. There is nothing scary about stickers. Except maybe monster stickers.
Hidden toddler, crouching pooper
Another common toilet habit that toddlers have is to hide when they need to poop. You may notice they leave the room, cower in the corner, hide behind a curtain or sneak under the table to have a bowel movement (in their nappy of course).
The next time your little one makes his move, catch him and guide him to the toilet. At first, let him poop in his nappy in the washroom. Gradually ask him to remove the nappy and try sitting on the toilet when it’s time to go. Give him his privacy…but stay close by.
Return of the wet undies
Regression is usually part of the toilet training process. A frustrating part, yes. Just when you think he’s got it and you leave the nappies at home, he wees all over the floor at Bunnings (don’t worry, Bunnings is used to it).
Take a step back and start again. This doesn’t mean you have to go back to the very first step (introducing him to the potty) but it may mean you need to revisit asking him if he needs to go every hour. And, possibly packing nappies when you leave the house, you know, just in case.
Seeing potty progress may take time but there is no point in rushing it – pushing them too hard can cause unwanted stress and strain for both you and your toddler. They have years and years of using the toilet ahead of them. And you have years and years of avoiding the nappy section in the grocery store ahead of you.
With every stain you clean up, keep the big picture in mind (a nappy-free household), remind yourself that toilet training isn’t a one-step process and take comfort in the fact that most parents of toddlers experience the same set-backs. It’s all part of the fun.
Prepare for the adventure ahead with all the toilet training tools. While singing potties, disposable undies and reward charts are toileting tools you can take or leave, you will need to stock up on your baby wipes for a little longer!
Go bulk and save with our Aussie owned and made Red Nose Baby Wipes, tough on toilet traumas, gentle on bums and ideal for quick and easy accident removal from the kitchen floor.
For flushable and fully biodegradable wipes that are exclusively designed for toddlers, check out Red Nose Toddler & Family Wipes which help make the transition from nappies to self-wiping easier on everyone.