Helen Neale is a mum of two slightly barmy, but loveable kids, and owns the children's charts business, KiddyCharts. In the dim and distant past, she was actually a business analyst. Now she writes regularly for parenting, and working mum websites and magazines. Now her main mission in life is to bring a smile and a nod of recognition to the faces of parents everywhere.
So I said it, now please don't go run and hide!
I know that's the reaction of many a parent, it can be our worst nightmare, knee deep in poo, wee, spare clothes, and no end in sight.
But wait, you don't need to feel like that. I didn't - well, not too much anyway ;-) ...
THE most important thing you can do when you are potty training your little ones, is to make sure that you are doing the training for the most important person involved...
If you remember that, and you are patient, not too nagging with the well worn phrase:
"Do you need a wee?"
And just generally be your usual lovely self, then everything else will work out just fine.
In other words, take a long hard look at why you want to potty train.
Don't do it because....
- All your child's other friends are trained; your little one will get there in the end
- You are FED UP of nappies. I have been there done that, and got wee all over the sofa. It's best to put a dirty nappy in a bin, and not have to take a sofa cover to the dry cleaners....
- Your parents says, "you were trained by the time you were 18 months" things really WERE very different then
- You read it in a book that they should be trained by three; everyone is different
- Nursery won't take them unless they are trained. I am going to be controversial here *ducks*, but I think that any nursery that says that, isn't a suitable place to send your child. Nurseries should know better than anyone else how individual every child really is.
We know how hard it is to actually do all of this though.
We promise though that if you do think about why you want to train, and you realise that it's one of these things that's driving you the most; leave it for now. It really can wait until your child is ready for it.
If you remember all of this, and feel your child is really give it a go. We found personalised potty training sticker charts really helped with both of ours. Not forgetting, lots and lots of praise. So good luck everyone!