10 toddler toilet learning essentials

NextMany parents feel daunted by the prospect of teaching their child to use the potty or toilet. Life is already chaotic with a toddler, so it can seem like one more thing to squeeze into the day, and perhaps something else to have power struggles over. It also means adding a lot more laundry to […] The post 10 toddler toilet learning essentials appeared first on Newborn Baby.

10 toddler toilet learning essentials

Many parents feel daunted by the prospect of teaching their child to use the potty or toilet. Life is already chaotic with a toddler, so it can seem like one more thing to squeeze into the day, and perhaps something else to have power struggles over. It also means adding a lot more laundry to the basket that you can’t even remember if you’ve ever seen the bottom of since becoming a parent. The mess, the accidents, the battles, the public toilet visits when you go out (where little kids seem to want to touch every surface!)…it’s all too much, right?

It doesn’t have to be so overwhelming and frustrating if you’re prepared for every situation, and if you follow the child-led approach, otherwise known as toilet learning. Read our post Toilet learning: a practical guide to learn about the benefits, recognise how to tell if your child is ready, and how to go about it.

10 toddler toilet learning essentials

Now, we’ll look at the must-haves for toilet learning in order to support and set your toddler up for success, and to make life a whole lot easier for you. You’ll notice that there are no rewards or bribes. Toilet learning, as opposed to adult-led toilet training, is a natural process that is individual to each child, and with the right support, will happen when a child is developmentally ready.

1. Toilet learning books

Before you even get started, you can introduce the idea through stories. This allows your toddler to find out what the toilet is for, bringing some familiarity to the whole process. Head to your nearest library or bookshop for some toileting books that you think will appeal to your individual child.

2. Cloth/disposable training pants

Once you’ve started the conversation about using the potty or toilet, and your child shows signs of readiness, it’s fine to use cloth or disposable nappy pants for awhile. This will also help you to relax when you’re out and about or in the car. To begin with, they will need to practice pulling them up and down, which is an important step to accomplish. Compared with disposable, cloth has the added benefit of your child immediately experiencing the sensation of being wet.

3. Underwear

Go underwear shopping with your little one, and let them choose the design (even if you don’t like their choice!). You want it to be a fun and positive experience, as well as something in which your child feels a sense of contol over. Stock up on several packets so you never run short. When you’re just at home, you could leave your child in underwear and pants that are easy to pull down, but if they still prefer training pants for now, that’s okay too. The key is to keep calm and not put any pressure on them.

4. Potty

Your child might feel more comfortable starting off with a potty rather than the toilet. It’s a great idea just to let them play with it at first. Potty play could be as simple as letting your toddler sit on it with their clothes on or off, or sitting teddies or dolls on it (fun sound effects and laughter is recommended), pretend to wipe their bottom with toilet paper afterwards, and to wash their hands. Have a potty in each bathroom if possible, with a bath mat under them to keep them from slipping and to soak up any messes.

5. Toilet seat with or without steps

To help your toddler feel secure and gain more confidence in using the toilet, you could use a combined toilet seat and step stool. These are great because they’re fun to climb, the child-sized seat can help with any anxiety about falling in, and your child can practice going on their own. You know toddlers love being able to achieve something independently! Otherwise, if your child can get onto the toilet easily, you could provide them with a comfortable padded toilet seat without steps.

6. Waterproof sheet protector

Nighttime toilet learning can take longer than daytime, so relax about nights for now. However, if your child is asking to wear underwear to bed, and you have the patience to potentially change your child’s pyjamas in the middle of the night, give it a go. Just make sure that you use a waterproof sheet protector, and have a couple spare while the others are in the wash. Sheet protectors are excellent because they go over the sheet, meaning you won’t have to strip the bottom sheet, and the mattress is protected.

7. Step stool

Your toddler may already be in the habit of washing their hands, but if not, you’ll need something that your toddler can stand on to reach the basin. Make handwashing part of the routine, and keep it fun. You might like to sing a hand-washing song with them, and they could have their own ‘special’ soap and towel.

8. Portable potty with liners

Particularly in the early stages, or if your little one prefers the potty, you won’t want to leave home without a portable potty with disposable liners. These are perfect to keep in the car, so you can pull over for an emergency roadside stop, or use it in the playground when there are no nearby toilets. Get yourself the portable potty that also converts to a toilet seat to cover both bases.

9. Portable toilet seat

Once your toddler feels comfortable using an adult toilet, pack a portable toilet seat into a washable carry bag when you head out. They’re padded so they’re more comfortable for little bottoms, and much more hygienic than sitting your little one directly onto a public toilet seat.

10. Wet/dry bag

Your nappy bag is going to look a little different now that you’re on the toilet learning path. Pack a bag filled with plenty of dry outfits, and even a change of shoes or two. Then, ensure you have a zip-up waterproof bag for the soiled clothing. Don’t forget the baby wipes, hand sanitiser, some waterproof pads for the car seat or pram, and your portable potty or toilet seat.

 

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Returning to Work – Do I Need to Stop Breastfeeding?

When returning to work after maternity leave you are likely to experience a whole host of emotions. Whilst the craving for adult conversation may be high and you are desperate to say goodbye to those never ending diaper changes, many Moms experience sadness, denial, anxiety and even guilt when returning to the workplace, particularly if their baby is still young. The logistics; both physically and mentally of returning to work can be challenging and for those who are still breastfeeding, one question frequently arises.  Do I need to stop breastfeeding when I return to the office? The simple answer is The post Returning to Work – Do I Need to Stop Breastfeeding? appeared first on The Pulse.

Returning to Work – Do I Need to Stop Breastfeeding?

When returning to work after maternity leave you are likely to experience a whole host of emotions. Whilst the craving for adult conversation may be high and you are desperate to say goodbye to those never ending diaper changes, many Moms experience sadness, denial, anxiety and even guilt when returning to the workplace, particularly if their baby is still young.

The logistics; both physically and mentally of returning to work can be challenging and for those who are still breastfeeding, one question frequently arises.

 Do I need to stop breastfeeding when I return to the office?

The simple answer is that it depends on the age of your baby and of course personal choice; but it is usually possible to continue breastfeeding when you return to work should you wish to do so.

Here are some options to help you continue breastfeeding when returning to the workplace:

 Expressing

Just because you are returning to the office doesn’t mean you have to fully switch to formula feeds. If you are comfortable pumping, either with a manual or electric breast pump, you can express feeds for your childminder or carer to feed your baby in your absence. Alternatively, you may want to consider combination feeding, giving your baby formula milk with other people during the day whilst maintaining breastmilk feeds when feeding at home with Mom.

If you haven’t expressed before, it can take a bit of practice, therefore it is recommended that you try a few times at home before that eventful first day back. It may take a bit of adjustment for your baby who is used to their milk being the perfect temperature and the familiar comfort of nuzzling against your chest. A bottle can be an unfamiliar and alien prospect at first, but they will get there – practice makes perfect!

Remember, many babies may resist a bottle at first – especially if their Mom is trying to give it to them – staying out the room and letting someone else try and feed them is often a far more successful approach. You can find other tips for when your baby won’t take a bottle here.

Reducing Feeds

Depending on the age of your baby, you may want to try and reduce the number of feeds your baby has during the day (feeding only before and after work). If your baby is weaned and eating regular meals then this should definitely be achievable. My own daughter was 11 months old when I returned to work and whilst she was pretty keen for a feed by the time I got home, she coped perfectly fine throughout the day once I was out of sight!

In the run up to my return to the office, we tried over a period of weeks to gradually space out the amount of time between feeds, avoiding offering her a feed and waiting instead until she showed real signs of hunger. It quickly became apparent that she could last far longer between feeds than I expected, with many of our feeds being more for comfort than anything else.

Employer Support

If your baby is still feeding regularly, you may need to speak to your employer about expressing during your lunch break or having small breaks to express throughout the day. This will not only help you maintain your milk supply, but can also help avoid feelings of fullness, discomfort or engorgement if you need to go a long time without feeding your baby.

You may also want to speak to your employer about your hours when returning from maternity leave. It may be helpful to work a little more flexibly and manage your hours to finish early enable you to do that final feed before bed. Depending on your current flexible working arrangements, there may be some options for short term changes to support this transition with your baby.

Why continue?

Continuing to breastfeed your baby when you return to work can actually be a big help emotionally for both of you. Maintaining some consistent breastfeeds that they are used to can help provide comfort after being separated for the day and help them cope better with the change to their routine. The surge of oxytocin can also help lower your stress and anxiety levels, helping ground you when you return home and bond again with your baby.

Whatever you decide to do regarding breastfeeding, remember that the choice is ultimately a very personal one. Like every parenting challenge, there may be a few little bumps along the way, but you will soon find a new rhythm that works for you both! Good luck!

The post Returning to Work – Do I Need to Stop Breastfeeding? appeared first on The Pulse.

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