Talk to them about wees and poos! As grown-ups, we generally don’t discuss toilet habits, but your toddler won’t mind. Letting them come into the toilet with you and watch what you do can really help.
A fun way to get your little one excited about potty training is to plan a shopping trip for new big girl/ big boy underwear and a new potty if don’t already have one. The more involved they are in the process the better. Another good idea is to buy a potty seat that fits on top of the toilet seat. They come in a variety of styles, but a padded one is probably more comfy for your little one. Let them choose their own hand soap and a step stool so they can reach the sink or the loo. Let them decorate their step stool with stickers to make it really special.
Let your little one sit on the potty for a few minutes even if they don’t do anything. This will get them comfortable with their new potty. Let them practise pulling their new pants up and down.
Potty training is a bit easier in the spring and summer as your little one isn’t wearing bulky clothes or things like tights, which can be difficult to get on and off.
Remember that day-time toilet training and night-time toilet training often happens at separate times. Dry nights can be 2 years later than dry days for some deep sleepers.
If you have a boy who stands when he wees, try drawing a face on a ping pong (table tennis) ball and popping it into the loo so he can have something to aim at.
You may be tempted to give them extra drinks so they wee more often. Some people find this works, but it’s probably best to continue your child’s normal eating and drinking patterns.
You may wonder whether or not you should use disposable training pants. Some parents find them extremely useful; some find them too similar to nappies. The choice is entirely yours and there is no right or wrong answer!
- If you have a major life event such as a birth, a wedding, a big house move or a move to a new nursery/child minder, you may want to delay potty training for a bit until your little one’s routine goes back to normal.
- If your little one has an older sibling, get them involved too! Older siblings can provide encouragement for your little one.
- Night training takes a bit longer than day training. You may decide to keep your little one in nappies at night until they wake up dry, night after night, after a few weeks. You may decide that you want your child to remain nappy free day and night. Either way is fine. Read our article on Top tips for dry nights for more tips.
- For night training, you may want to keep a potty next to your little one’s bed.
- There are many potties on the market—some even play music and have magazine racks! There’s no need to splash out on an elaborate potty unless you want to. Your little one will not be trained in faster on a fancy potty.
- If your child is using the loo instead of a potty, you may want to flush the loo after they’ve left the bathroom. The noise can be scary for some little ones. Others may be worried that they may go down the loo themselves!
- Never be caught short yourself - stash small bags of spare underwear, trousers/skirts and socks in all sorts of areas: in the car; in a pram; in your [giant parent] bag; at nursery; grandparents...