Reusable or disposable nappies? Baby bath or in the tub with mum? Read on for helpful advice on all the kit you need to keep your baby squeaky clean. Now let's get ready to blow bubbles that go POP!
It comes down to personal choice, so read up, research and try different types and brands before you make up your mind. There are two types of reusable nappies – all-in-one nappies with a combined outer and inner layer, and two-part nappies, which have a machine washable cloth nappy inside an outer waterproof cover. Disposables are of course quicker and more convenient, but will end up costing you more.
The secret is in the preparation. Make sure you have everything to hand before you undress your baby, and that the water – as well as the room – is at the right temperature. There's no need to use soap in the early days as it could dry out baby's delicate skin. Be prepared and have your towel or snuggle robe within easy reach, so once you're done you can simply lift your sweet-smelling bundle onto your lap ready for a post-bath cuddle. And of course, never, ever leave your baby unattended in the water.
There can be a lot of pressure to have your toddler toilet trained by a particular age, but experts agree it's best to be led by your child and not try to force them before they're ready. There are a number of signs that the time might be right; are they showing an interest when you go to the loo? Do they seek privacy and hide behind the sofa or the door when they need to go? Are they taking an interest in the potty? If so, then give it a go. You'll need boundless patience, plenty of training pants and a good sense of humour!
Encourage them to choose their potty themselves; that way they'll feel involved and more likely to use it. If they tend to always poop at a particular time of day, try to pre-empt it by sitting them on the potty. If possible, it's a good idea to start when the weather's warm, as you can leave them without anything on their bottom half, meaning less washing for you when they have an accident. And if they do, do your best not to be cross – just take them to the potty and sit them on it so they start to make the connection.
Some children crack it in a few days, for others it's a long drawn out process. If they really seem to be struggling, accept that now's not the right time and give it a few more weeks in nappies, then try again. Some kids respond to star or reward charts, others just need lots of encouragement. Don't get discouraged if it seems to be taking forever – it will happen in the end.
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