As Spring is now just around the corner, so is Potty Training Time in Wonderland! With the warmer weather will also come the time for the oldest members of Wonderland to take a big step in their development and take off their nappies!!
Potty Training can seem like a daunting task for both parents and children but in Wonderland, we aim to make this experience as happy and smooth sailing for everyone involved and help our little ones to take this leap in a happy and safe environment!
Potty training is a huge developmental milestone which can be both empowering and challenging for kids. Therefore, the first question you must ask yourself before starting potty training is ‘Is My Child Ready?’ Until around the age of 20 months, most children do not have the bladder control to realistically begin potty training therefore it is normally recommended that children would begin this process when they have become toddlers. But like with anything to with children's development, every child has their own rhythm so we must look to each individual child to see if they show the signs that they are prepared! The signs could be:
In Wonderland, we have a process which includes 3 main steps – Preparation, the Process and Returning to Wonderland!
As with everything, preparation is key for potty training. The main ways in which we can help to prepare kids are:
Our process in Wonderland normally begins in the springtime when the weather is warmer to avoid children catching colds from having wet clothes. We organize the process together with the parents so that the children will start in small groups (normally around 3 or 4 kids each time) over a two- or three-week period. Ideally, the children will take off their nappies for the first time on the Friday afternoon or evening with their parents and then spend the whole weekend practising using the potty. We would advise that the first weekend you spend with your little one without their nappy, that you plan to spend as much time as home as possible without many visitors so that you can focus as much of your attention as possible on your child.
When you take off their nappy for the first time, it's necessary that you explain to them as much as possible about the process! Use positive words to help them get excited about wanting to use the potty and leave them with as little clothes as possible – ideally only have them dressed in a big, oversized t-shirt. Bring the potty with you to wherever you are at home and have your little one sit on it very often (it´s recommended the first few days to have them sit on it every 15-20 minutes – set an alarm on your phone if it will help!) The biggest tip over the first few days is to constantly ask your child if they need to use the potty and remind them that they don´t have a nappy on even though you will start to feel very annoying! In this stage, communication and reminding your little one of the process will be a big key to potty training being successful.
It´s normal and almost a certainty that your little one will have an accident, but when this happens, it´s very important that you keep cool and don´t get frustrated with them. The best way to deal with an accident is to explain to them in a calm manner what has happened and remind them again that next time when they need to use the bathroom that they should go to use the potty.
And on the contrary, when your child successfully uses the potty, shower them with lots of praise! Let them know that they have done extremely well and take the time to give them positive feedback and let the be proud of themselves!
Once you see that your little one is getting into the rhythm, you can start letting them wear more clothes such as baggy or comfy trousers with an elastic waistband so that they can pull up and down their trousers easily.
Return to Wonderland
On Monday morning, it will be time for your little one to return to Wonderland but this time without their nappy! You will need to send your little one with comfy clothes with elastic waistbands and lots of extra clothes and shoes in case of any accidents! We highly recommend that your little one doesn´t come with bodysuits, dungarees or anything with buttons that could stop the kids from using the potty with easy.
At this point, Potty Training becomes a team effort between both the teachers and the parents in which there needs to be strong communication and a communal goal of making sure the process goes smoothly and well for the little one. According to experts, to fully potty train a child it can take between 3 to 6 months to the point where they are fully autonomous when going to the bathroom, therefore it is a process which requires patience from all the adults involved. We are all here to support the kids and make sure that they are happy and healthy throughout the whole process.