Toilet training is one of those things that can have parents tearing their hair out. On the one hand, you want your toddler out of nappies. Nappies are expensive, and it’s a pain to have to change nappies every few hours. On the other hand, toilet training can be hard.
Your toddler is on the loose with just a pair of undies, and it can be pretty messy if they have an accident. Some toddlers are scared of the toilet (my youngest was terrified of falling down the hole), some refuse to wear a nappy but poo in their undies, and most boys seem to have trouble with the concept of weeing into the toilet.
With a bit of planning, and the right tools, you can make toilet training easier on you and your toddler. Here’s our top essentials for toilet training:
Disposable Pull Ups or Training Pants
You’ll need washable training pants as well, but disposables are for the toddlers who flat out refuse to wear a nappy when they’re not yet dry at night. Some toddlers get it into their heads that they’re ‘big kids’ now and won’t wear a nappy during the day, either. At least with pull ups you can get away with calling them big boy (or girl) pants, but you can still tear the sides for easy access to the inevitable messes that don’t quite make it to the toilet.
Hello Charlie has three brands of eco disposable training pants, Bambo Nature, Seventh Generation and Muumi, and we’ve got samples of all three available.
Washable Training Pants & Undies
Disposable nappies and pull ups are designed to wick moisture away from babies’ bottoms. This is a good thing because it keeps them drier, which means less nappy rash, and it keeps them comfortable, which means more sleep for parents.
It’s not such a good thing when it comes to toilet training, though. Toddlers need to feel the wetness next to their skin, so that they understand the connection between weeing and wetness. This is where washable undies and training pants come in. Once your toddler has connected needing to go to the toilet with the actual wee, you’re halfway there with toilet training. The other thing is that the wetness feels uncomfortable, so they don’t want to wee or poo in their pants and are more likely to go to the toilet.
Of course, there will always be accidents, so having training pants with a bit of absorbency is helpful for both your toddler and you. You don’t want to have to do a complete outfit change every time your toddler does a bit of a dribble. Charlie Banana has a great range of combination swim nappies and training pants, and Pea Pods have a great toilet training pant that looks just like undies but with some built in absorbency.
Waterproof Bed Sheets
Just as it’s inevitable that your toddler is going to have some accidents during the day, there will be accidents at night. The easiest way to deal with this is to use a waterproof sheet that goes over the top of the mattress and sheets. That way, when the accident happens, you don’t have to strip the whole bed. You can just whip off the waterproof sheet and pop on another one.
We like the Brolly Sheets, because they’ve got wings that mean your toddler is covered whichever way they roll.
Some toddlers, like my youngest, are terrified of the toilet. A potty solves this issue. They’re perfectly sized for small bottoms, they’re easy to clean, and they’re portable. My eldest used to like to drag his potty out into the lounge room so that he could do his business in comfort and in company!
Getting a comfortable potty is important, obviously, and it’s also useful to get a potty that has a removeable inner. This makes it much easier to clean, as you can simply hold it in the toilet bowl and flush. I used the BabyBjorn ones with my two children, and would highly recommend them.
Toilet seats are not made for toddler sized bottoms, and it can be awkward for little guys to perch on the edge. Fortunately, there are a number of options that sit safely on top of your toilet seat. The Lupi-Lu attaches to your toilet seat, and you simply lift the smaller seat up to use it as an adult seat.
BabyBjorn has one that adjusts to your toilet seat, and then you pull it on and off each time your toddler uses it.
Sometimes it can be getting up on to the toilet that’s the problem. Using a step stool helps, as it’s an easy way for your toddler to climb up. It’s especially useful for boys, so that they’re tall enough to wee into the toilet.
And of course, it’s helpful for toddlers to have a step stool to use at the sink so that they can reach up to wash their hands after they’ve been to the toilet. Again, BabyBjorn has a good, sturdy step stool that’s very useful.
It can be helpful for your toddler to have a book. Not only can they read it on the potty, but lots of children think pooing is funny, and it can certainly help lighten the mood. A quick poll around the office at Hello Charlie came up with a couple of favourites: Zoo Poo by Richard Morgan, and The Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business by Werner Holzwarth.
So there you have it. Top toilet training essentials from four mothers who have been there and done it (pun fully intended, of course!).
What are your toilet training essentials? Share your advice in the comments below.
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