THIS WEEK’S GOALS
This week is all about consolidating on the successes of Week 2 and turning patterns into entrenched habits. If Week 2 went smoothly, Week 3 can be about gently encouraging your child to become gradually more independent around their potty routine.
Important: Don’t be tempted to run before you can walk! If your little one is still nervous around the potty or if they’re still regularly having a couple or more accidents a day just repeat Week 2’s programme for this week.
At this stage of potty training, your child’s confidence around their routine is the single most important factor so rushing them on to the next stage when they’re not entirely ready can be counterproductive.
GET SET! IT’S WEEK 3…
- As in Week 2, start each day by giving your child the opportunity to visit the potty
- Keep giving your little one regular reminders of the need to visit the potty, particularly shortly after big drinks, before daytime naps, if they look as if they’re lost in an activity or towards the end of the day when tiredness can make them lose focus
- Start building on last week’s progress by also encouraging them to tell you independently when they want to go. Remember to heap the praise on if they tell you they need to go and actually perform. That’s real progress!
- If you’re keeping a reward chart, you can invest in different coloured stickers or stars to show which visits were completely unprompted. Your little one will be really motivated to think independently about when they need to go when they start to see this colour overtaking the colour showing prompted visits
MAKING HYGIENE A HABIT
- With this being a week of consolidation, now’s the time to drive home the hygiene message. Talk about the importance of hand-washing with your child and explain (in the simplest terms!) how it helps stop germs spreading and them getting unwell
- Ask your child “Do you think you can remember to always wash your hands by yourself?”. Then put it to the test!
- If they do, give them lots of praise. If they don’t remember, agree a discreet prompt to help them remember eg. A little cough, and again be ready with plenty of praise when the prompt works
THE BIG WORLD BEYOND…
- If your little one is feeling confident about their routine and is having only the odd small accident, this is the week to start thinking about applying the routine when you’re out and about too
- You can prepare for this big step by encouraging your child to use their potty in different rooms and even outside in the garden so they don’t come to equate physical environment with performance
- Start with small outings to familiar places to help build your little one’s confidence (eg. friends’ houses or local shops)
- Increase your chances of a successful, accident-free outing by visiting the potty just before you leave (and for the first few outings only leaving once there’s been a successful performance so that hopefully the next one is some way away!)
- Once you’ve had a run of accident-free local outings, you and your little potty-training buddy should be fired up and ready to explore further in Week Four…
TIME TO CELEBRATE!
Finish this week by sitting your child down and writing a list of their big achievements:
- First time you told me you needed to go
- First time you used your potty outside our house
- First time you remembered to wash your hands
- First time you had no accidents all day!
Well done to both of you on getting half way! Here’s to more success in Week Four….
Read more about Amanda Jenner, our Potty Lady expert and inventor of My Carry Potty