Toddlers can be very stubborn and if they don’t want to do something then they won’t do it! But potty training your stubborn toddler doesn’t need to be difficult. I have potty trained two toddlers and I found these things all made my life easier and potty training much calmer.
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1. Make Sure They Are Ready
It is much easier to start potty training when your toddler has shown signs they are ready for it. If they are stubborn then letting them point out that they are wet and need changing shows them that they have some control over it.
2. Get A Potty They Like
Choosing the right potty is really important and there are so many different options to choose from. You can get one with their favourite character on, different shapes, colours, noises and sizes. We have always preferred a mini toilet. Toddlers like sitting on them because it looks more like the real thing. They can flush it and it makes a noise and they are easy to keep clean.
Another good option is an easy to pour potty. It is a really reasonable price and really easy to keep clean.
3. Make Hand Washing Fun
Choose the main area where your toddler will use the potty. Put down a step stool so they can easily reach to wash their own hands. We have got so much use out of the folding step stool – it is carried around by my toddler and used all around the house.
Get a hand wash that appeals to your child. If they like to dispense the soap, put an elastic band around the dispenser. This stops the pump from going down all the way and will only dispense a small amount of soap. Use a small hand towel that is easy for them to get down and use on their own.
3. Make a Cleaning Station
When they have an accident it is so handy to be able to grab everything you need in one place. You will fell much calmer and have a more positive reaction. This will encourage your toddler to keep trying rather than being worried about making a mistake.
Fill a storage box with baby wipes, nappy bags, a spare toilet roll, a pair of pants, clean trousers, a small toy (to keep them busy while you’re busy!) cloths and carpet shampoo. I always use Dr Beckmann carpet shampoo because it gets stains out easily and already has the brush attached ready to use.
4. Learn Through Play
Start toilet training by playing how to use the potty with your child.
There are lots of potty training books you can read together and picture books that your toddler can look through on their own.
Let your toddler come to the toilet with you or a sibling and talk through the routine of using the toilet.
Role play using the potty with their toys. Include hand washing afterwards.
3. Choose A Good Time To Start
Look on your calendar for a clear few days when you don’t need to leave the house. If your toddler has allergies and you are reintroducing foods then avoid this time to start potty training.
4. Wear Easy Clothes
For the first day let them go without anything on their bottom half or just wear a pair of pants. They won’t give you much warning when they need the potty to start with even if you remind them regularly. So it is best to not have much to take off.
After the first few days wear simple clothes that are easy for them to take off themselves. A dress is easy to lift up or trousers with an elasticated waist.
5. Have Lots of Rewards
Rewards are the fun part of potty training. Once they have got that first treat they will want to earn more and it will get them excited and involved with using the potty.
You can buy or make a simple sticker chart sometimes just getting a sticker is reward enough. There are also lots of printable potty training charts you can download and print at home.
Another option is to give them a small sweet or chocolate each time they use the potty – this always goes down well!
6. Enjoy Practising
To start with they will go to the potty a lot even when they don’t need to use it. This is all part of the practising and getting used to the feeling of needing to use the toilet.
Celebrate each time they try but try not to give them a treat unless they actually use the potty.
7. Use Reminders They Can Control
When they first start potty training they will need remining a lot to have a try. You can ask them every half an hour if they need the potty or to go and have a try.
If they are stubborn and like to choose themselves you can give them options. Would you like to try on the potty before we play this game or after?
You can also use a timer or set one on Alexa. If they are playing set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes and tell them when it goes off they need to try on their potty. Then leave the timer where they can see it so they feel in control.
8. Eat and Drink Plenty
Encourage them to eat and drink regularly so it is easy for them to go to the toilet.
9. Introduce a Travel Potty
Try to stay at home for the first week to give your toddler time to get used to using the potty. Let them become more independent when they use the potty and follow the routine on their own.
When you do leave the house you might want to take a travel potty with you. These are really useful to keep in the boot of your car for when your toddler catches you by surprise and their isn;t a toilet near by.
A travel potty is also a life-saver if you travel longer distances to visit friends, relatives, days out or holidays.
10. Don’t Worry and Try Again
If you start potty training and it is a complete nightmare don’t worry. It might be that it is too soon and they just aren’t ready yet.
We started potty training with my stubborn toddler and she just refused to sit on the potty. I decided to leave it a few weeks and try again. We talked about the potty a lot in this time and played using the potty to get her more comfortable with it.
Good luck with potty training your stubborn toddler. You will get through it together and on to the next milestone. Being potty trained is such an important step in their growing up and getting ready to go to school. Remember to make it easier get prepared before you start with all the essentials you will need.