Let me state the obvious - a lot of things happen in the bathroom. Washing hands, pooping, peeing, brushing teeth, bathing, etc. The way we began with the bathroom was all on an as-needed basis. It was tough in the beginning – a toddler is not going to stop playing with water voluntarily, but eventually things do get better :-)
Here are some of our tips and tools:
- Prevent hot water accidents (this only works with faucets with a separate hot and cold knob) by using a wide red/orange/bright-colored rubber band (repurpose one from broccoli or asparagus) and placing it around the handle or neck of the hot water knob. My kids have learned to avoid the knob with the rubber band on it.
- Looster booster for the toilet. We’re potty training our toddler, and trying to avoid using those little potty training units (I know an almost impossible task). What is helping is a combination of the looster step stool that hugs the bottom of the toilet, coupled with a toilet seat add-on. Best thing is our 5 year-old likes using the looster as well since her feet still can’t reach the floor when on the toilet.
- Stools to reach the sink. We like our wooden two-step stool with a hidden storage compartment in the second step that we use to store wipes. We also use the stool to sit on – while potty training, it sometimes helps to read to our toddler for her to stay on the potty (ugh).
- Keep supplies in an easily accessible location. We have a small cabinet unit we use to keep hand towels and toilet paper. This way the kids can access new towels and replace toilet paper rolls as needed.
- Don’t forget the ‘little’ stuff — making the bathroom their own is also important. Easy to reach soap pump or bar soap, a little basket of reading material, easy to reach towel – all contribute to the general kid-friendliness of the bathroom.
Sometimes people think building independence means throwing the child into a situation and making them ‘live’ with things the way they are. Most of the time that method does work, but it takes struggle on both sides for an extended amount of time before reaching a point where things work. I always prefer finding a mid-point, and enabling independence while ensuring that the child has the tools and training necessary to do things on their own.
- Potty Training and Your Preschooler: Advice for Parents (children.webmd.com)
- Toilet Training (parentingpractically.wordpress.com)
- Building a Child’s Independence Part 1 – In the Bedroom (declutterorganizerepurpose.wordpress.com)