Today’s guest post comes from Daisy Murphy. Daisy is a working mom and a writer from London. She writes about cleaning, DIY projects, parenting tips and home organization.
Potty training can be a serious challenge for new parents, but it doesn’t need to be hard or stressful if you arm yourself with plenty of patience and some good old-fashioned cleaning products.
One of the biggest challenges for mums and dads with potty training is maintaining a level of hygiene while the little one grows accustomed to this task.
Some parents quickly become frustrated, but very young children don’t respond very well to yelling and reproach. Potty training takes preparation and perseverance and that way you can easily teach your child how to properly use the toilet without causing any mess in the process.
So let’s start!
1. Begin with a potty
Investing in a lightweight, portable potty chair is the best way to begin training. It allows a child’s feet to touch the floor making it more comfortable for them, they don’t need help to use it and for mum or dad, it’s quick and easy to clean.
Once the child has made some progress with a small potty, you can then move on to a potty seat for your toilet. This reduces the size of the adult seat to toddler-size. It needs to be both comfortable and stable for the child. Now a very small toddler may experience some difficulty in getting on to the toilet. You can help them by placing a small stool next to the toilet so that the child can climb on to the toilet seat with ease.
2. Remove all rugs
Some people have small rugs or bathmats in their bathrooms, but when you have a child who is potty training, it’s not such a good idea. Rugs can quickly soak up urine, which could result in odour issues. Also, washing a rug is far more difficult and time-consuming than cleaning a tiled floor.
Should an accident happen (and it most likely will), simply soak up the urine with an old cloth or collect the poo with toilet paper to throw away in the toilet. You can mop the entire floor using water and a specialised detergent, or spot-clean with disinfecting wipes.
The toilet bowl and the area around it can also be cleaned using a 10% bleach solution. Allow the solution to sit for about ten minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with soapy water. The bleach will destroy bacteria, but make sure you rinse the solution well. Children’s fingers are likely to end up in their mouths so it isn’t a good idea to have remaining bleach on any surface.
3. Use flushable toilet paper
Many new parents think flushable toilet paper is a real lifesaver. The reason? It is just like regular toilet paper, only it disintegrates much faster in water and won’t damage your plumbing. If urine
ends up on the toilet seat, you can wipe it clean with the flushable paper and dispose of it right away. Urine is itself sterile, so the flushable paper will do.
But if the child has had a bowel movement, it would be better to clean the toilet seat or potty more thoroughly, using a suitable detergent as faecal material contains germs and bacteria.
4. Cleaning clothing after an accident
If the child doesn’t manage to get to the toilet quickly enough, you will most certainly have to change their clothing and underwear. As mentioned above, urine is sterile so you can toss the soaked underwear and pants straight in the washing machine. However, if there is any faecal material on the fabric, you should remove as much of it as possible. Once you have removed all solid stools, follow the advice of a cleaning service provider which advises you to soak the clothing in hot water with 1 tbsp. of chlorine or oxygen bleach. You can handwash the dirty underwear and clothing in the sink. Again, make sure you rinse it well before you hang it out to dry.
5. Set a good example yourself
Setting a good example is an essential part of potty training your child. The child should be taught to wash their hands each time they use the toilet. To make things easier, you can place pump soap on the sink. Choose a cartoon-inspired pump soap bottle with the child’s favourite animation character. This will encourage the little one to wash their hands and help them form a habit. The same applies to flushing. If the child cannot flush the toilet on their own, you can help them in the beginning.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, with potty training, it is important to remain calm. If you are late for an appointment, rushing to pick the older kids up or just very busy, take time out for a moment because it’ll be worth it in the long run.
While the tips we have suggested above will make potty training easier, patience and good hygiene are always the key to success.