THIS WEEK’S GOALS
Week 4 of our programme is all about encouraging independence. As before, only tackle Week 4 if Week 3 went well. If Week 3 proved a challenge, stick with that week’s programme until you master it. Successful potty training is all about going at your child’s pace!
WEEK 4 – I CAN DO IT MYSELF! This is the week to set your little one a number of challenges:
- A reminder-free day: Try having a day (often best tried at home!) when you don’t remind your child that it’s potty time. Talk to them about it in advance and set up a code ‘hint’ eg. a cough that can be used as a gentle prompt when your child loses themselves in an activity. Heap on the praise whenever your child spontaneously remembers a potty trip!
- Hand washing hero!: Do the same with hand washing and try to see how many times your child can go to the potty and remember to wash their hands completely unprompted by you. Again, be ready with rewards, hugs and praise!
- Nappy-free outing: See if your little one can master a full morning or afternoon outing entirely nappy free. Take a good travel potty with you – such as the My Carry Potty – it’ll really take the pressure off both of you!
- Using their potty in an unfamiliar environment: If your toddler hasn’t yet used their potty anywhere other than with you, this is the week to see if they can use it at nursery, at a friend’s house or when visiting grandparents.Talk to the adult who’ll be there in your place about their routine so that even if they’re going to the potty in an unfamiliar environment, the whole routine will feel reassuringly familiar. This will give them huge amounts of confidence.
- Progressing on to the toilet: It’s around now that many little ones will start to show an interest in progressing on to the toilet. If you’re sure they have totally mastered weeing and pooing and are in touch with when they need to go, Week 4 is a great time to start giving them the option of sitting on the toilet or the potty.Remember that the toilet will seem HUGE to little people! It’s worth investing in a toilet training seat to make them feel secure and comfortable while they’re sitting on the toilet. It’s also worth buying a specially designed non-slip step to encourage them to keep up their independence.
NB – If your little one still seems happier on their potty at this stage that’s fine! It’s all about maintaining a routine that gives your child confidence at this stage.
- Nappy-free sleeping: If your child is pretty much accident-free now during the day and if you haven’t started Potty Training super early (eg. before the age of 2) Week 2 is a great time to start tackling nappy-free sleeping. You can start with daytime naps and gradually progress to full nights.It can be useful to take a gradual approach to full nights and many parents find it helpful to ‘lift’ their child and take them to the potty just before they go to bed to break up the long night. Check out our fact sheet on Night Time Dryness for plenty more hints and tips!
- Rewards-a-plenty!: It’s likely that by Week 4 you’ve (rightly!) got out of the way of rewarding your little one for every successful potty trip. However, it’s worth re-instating rewards for this week as independence is a HUGE step in the potty training process and when mastered deserves big recognition!If your little one has mastered even half of these challenges by the end of Week 4 it’s time to give yourself a huge pat on the back. You’re well on the way to having a fully toilet trained child – a really significant step in their overall development!
Read more about Amanda Jenner, our Potty Lady expert and inventor of My Carry Potty