Another month means another book club selection! Last month we introduced Olly Polly Read and the month before we focussed on stories we used to prepare Eliana and Lia for baby number 3. This month it’s all about Potty Training!
Living in the southern hemisphere makes December the perfect time to potty train your little. 2 Reasons why; our warm weather and also the fact that most parents enjoy a longer break over Christmas. It can help letting your toddler play outside without a nappy in their underpants so that they can “see” and “feel” when it’s time to go. Being patient and relaxed and giving your little one all the time they need to master this new skill without adding pressure and negativity is also key.
Remember potty training is a developmental phase where your child is developing the ability to controle their bladder and bowel movements and like with all development this should not be forced or rushed. For most littles the ideal time is around 24 months but a lot of kids tend to show an interest much earlier, around 18 months. Instead of jumping at the opportunity to potty train (and taking longer) we decided to wait until after the girls turned 2. In the meantime we still wanted to keep their interest alive and prepare them for what was to come. The selection of story books below proved valuable in making potty training a fun, stress-free and positive experience for all of us. I even credit this early prepping and exploration of the subject for making things a lot easier.
4 Storie we love:
- Ready to Go! Toilet Time. A training Kit for Girls (There is also one available for boys) – Dr Janet Hall (Hardback)
- Tatta, doeke – Martie Kruger (Paperback)
- Die Storie van die Molletjie wat wou weet wie op sy kop gedinges het – Werner Holzwarth, Wolf Erlbruch (Paperback)
- Mag ek in jou doek loer? – Guido van Genechten (Hardcover)
A humorous 1st introduction:
I do warn parents, this book might not be in everyone’s taste but, Die Storie van die Molletjie wat wou weet wie op sy kop gedinges het is a favourite amongst our girls and all of their friends. It’s definitely an “age things” and most mamas can attest to the “toilet humour” toddlers thrive on. It’s a phase where “but” and “poo” jokes are all the rage and although we don’t encourage this behaviour using it to our advantage has proven successful.
The story kicks of with Mole. Someone has had an accident on his head and he sets out to find out who! Page after page he visits all the animals on the farm, having a look at their poo until he finds the guilty culprit. It might sound like a strange topic and even a little gross but it serves as a fantastic conversation starter getting the girls to realise how “normal” this next phase of life is. The illustrations are pretty and we have had many laughs while reading this story. I highly recommend giving it a go.
Lets talk diapers and the potty!
Next we introduced the girl’s to the “how to’s”. The way we would go about potty training. Mag ek in jou doek loer? is perfect for this.
We follow the inquisitive mind of a little mouse interested in seeing what’s inside the diapers of all his farm animal friends. I know, more “toilet humour” but this book, with it’s “lift the flap” feature is actually very cute. Your little one gets to “open” every diaper discovering what’s inside.
As a grande finale all the animals want to see what in mouse’s diaper. The surprise… NOTHING! Mouse is busy potty training and doesn’t need a diaper anymore. He prefers going to the potty and motivates all his friends (and your little) to do the same.
The reality of Potty Training:
Now that we have established a dialogue regarding potty training we move onto more realistic literature. Tatta, doeke!
Christiaan notices a foul smell in the home. Could it be a lion or an elephant? He sets out to find what could possibly be the cause only to discover it’s coming from his baby sister’s room. It’s her dirty diaper! Upon realising how “gross” diapers are Christiaan decides he is big enough to start using his potty and wearing “big boy underwear”.
It shows how Christiaan waits patiently on his potty, wipes himself and proudly puts on his 1st pair of undies. It also promotes an independent approach lead by Christiaan, encouraging your little one that they can also do this!
A positive reward system:
The last book we had fun using; Ready to Go! Toilet Time. A training Kit for Girls. (There is also a version available for boys). Developed by child psychologist, Janet Hall, this is yet another story about a little girl and how she goes about potty training. You are taken through the potty training experience step-by-step and the idea of a positive reward chart is introduced.
Eliana and Lia both enjoyed this book but for different reasons. Eliana never used a potty and was completely grossed out by the idea since day one, rather preferring to use a step ladder and child-sized toilet seat cover (just like the girl in the story). Lia however loved the Baby Throne (definitely our number 1 choice in potties seeing as it’s so comfy and really encouraged Lia to use it effectively every time she sat down) and the sticker reward chart was a HUGE hit, keeping accidents to a minimum!
After using the potty / toilet we needed to wipe properly, wash our hand thoroughly, dry them and only then could a sticker be stuck onto the reward chart. Lia loved seeing the same reward chart as the one used in the story on our bathroom wall. (Considered making copies of the chart before placing any stickers onto it, you may want to use it for future kids or even need an extra – these things take time.)
These 4 books set the mood and helped us potty train Eliana and Lia, and ever letting them feel shy or embarrassed when they “needed to go” or had an “accident”. You can find them at your closest Exclusive Books or online at Takealot.com.
Other tips while potty training:
- Ensuring continuity by making sure all family members and caregivers know when you decide to potty train and also making sure every one knows “how you have decide to go about potty training” is important.
- Dress your child in clothes that they can easily pull down themselves.
- Don’t restrict your child’s fluid intake during the day, rather remind them to visit the bathroom every 2 hours.
- Opening a tap might help get those “shy” bladders going.
- Always stay calm when accidents happen.
- Remember’ “dry nights” only come much later. It can take up to a year after potty training for your child’s bladder to mature to this point. Always let them wee before bedtime and keep an eye out for a period when he / she wakes up dry most mornings.
Do you have any favourite “potty time books” you read to your little ones or tips to share? Please leave a comment below telling us more.
Good luck mamas and remember to have fun with this next step!