The sun is finally out, and you might be planning to start potty training your toddler soon. But how do you know when it’s a good time to start?
I’m Mille Poppins and I work as a baby care specialist. Today I’m going to share my top potty-training tips and the many great reasons why you should start potty training in the summer!
Why should you potty train in the summer?
Your child will be ready to transition from wearing nappies in the daytime when they’re about 2–2 1/2 years old. Because the days are warmer, your child can wear lighter clothing and run around nappy-free, making it easier for them to reach the toilet or potty in time. It also minimises the mess in case of any accidents – because they do happen!
10 tips for potty training in the summer
I’ve put together my ten top tips that will make summer potty training with your toddler a breeze.
1. Start at a weekend or when you have a stretch of 2–4 days at home. This reduces the initial pressure from being out and about when your child needs to use the potty. Instead, plan for lovely summer days in the garden, at the park or on the beach – wherever you’re enjoying the sunshine together.
2. Have a special toy that they can play with while sitting on the potty or toilet. A bubble blower is perfect for outside, or you could use a special book.
3. Unbox the new potty together – make it exciting and talk about potty training in the days leading up to the start.
4. If your child does have an accident, it’s important to remain upbeat and positive. Always take them to the potty following an accident and say, “Let’s see if there’s any more!” It’s important that they associate the sensation of urinating or having a bowel movement with going to sit on the potty.
Potty training essentials
5. Keep asking them throughout the day to sit on the potty. Every hour or so! And keep the potty in sight. This includes moving it from room to room and also bringing it outside for playtime.
6. It’s great to let your child wear as little as possible from the waist down. If you need them in underpants or clothes, try to size up as it makes it easier and less frustrating for them to pull up and down. I would also advise skipping dresses for a few days and having your child in shorts with an elastic waist, free of buttons or clasps.
7. The sun is much stronger during the summer months, so keep your toddler in the shade when outdoors. This, of course, also includes having the potty in the shade.
8. The big toilet can initially be intimidating. Try to have a floor potty as an option and always encourage both boys and girls to start potty training in a seated position.
9. If your child tends to poo fairly regularly, then it’s great to be mindful of what time of the day they usually go. When it’s time, try to have them sit on the potty a bit longer – sing songs, watch the iPad for ten minutes or read a book with them.
10. For overnight, your child will most likely still need a nappy. If you can, make these new and exciting too! Rather than keeping the same nappies they’ve always worn, you can purchase the “grown up” pull-ups that are lighter and thinner.
How to achieve potty training success
Potty training can feel slightly daunting! However, being prepared with the right equipment and choosing to start potty training over the summer when your child is around 2–2 1/2 years old is the best way to set you and your toddler up for success.
Millie Poppins, based in the UK, is an expert in newborns and toddlers. With over ten years of experience in baby care, she offers great support and specialist advice that help parents thrive.