Potty training may feel daunting, but we’ve bought together our top tips to help you and your little one get on the path of becoming potty professionals. There will be accidents, setbacks and frustrations, but there will also be success eventually and with that comes a huge sense of achievement for the both of you. So when it is time to dive into the world of potty training, here are some of our top tips.
When is the right time?
We see parents put a lot of pressure on potty training and some wanting to master it early on, however sometimes starting too early can make the whole process more difficult for everyone involved. Typically, parents start to potty train around the ages of two-three years with the average potty-trained age being 27 months. But it's best to take it slowly and go at your child's pace.
Every child is different and there is no “right” time to potty train. Let them lead the way and look out for some of these signs to help you know when the time is right.
- Announcing it. If your child has started to tell you that they need the loo, or that they have a wee or poo in their nappy, then this is a sign of readiness. It shows that they are more aware of their bladder and have good knowledge of when they need to go to the loo.
- Good bladder control. If their nappies are starting to stay dryer for longer periods of time this shows they are starting to have better bladder control and could be ready to move on. We are looking for at least 1 to 2 hour intervals between wet nappies.
- They show that they need to pee by fidgeting or going somewhere quiet. Again this is a sign of awareness and knowledge about what they are doing, and a possible sign that they don’t feel comfortable peeing in their nappies any more, and are ready for the potty.
- Asking for the toilet. This one is pretty hard to miss or ignore if your child is literally asking to go to the toilet. So take their lead and let them start to use a potty or toilet. This could come from them watching you go to the toilet and wanting to imitate you, or perhaps they are just interested in the toilet and want to sit on it themselves, just go with it and see how it goes.
These are all good and positive signs that your little one could be ready for their potty journey to start. But remember there is no pressure to start, and let them take the lead to let you know when they are ready. Potty training is usually fastest if your child is at the last stage before you start the training. If you start earlier, be prepared for a lot of accidents as your child learns.
So you may be spotting these key signs and feel that both you and your little one are ready to dive into the world of potty training. Different strategies work for different children, but we have bought together some of the top tips that have worked for us.
The right time for you
Whilst we have mentioned that picking the right time for your little one is important to success, picking the right time for you is just as important. We won’t lie to you, it can be a long and patience testing process, so it’s best to pick a time when you have the time to focus on it. Try potty training when there are no great disruptions or changes to your typical family routine to encourage consistency and avoid confusion.
If you go out, try to take the potty with you as much as possible to keep that consistency for your little one and so they know that if they need the toilet they use the potty.
Some people find it easier to start in the summer when people typical have more time and are at home more, plus there are fewer clothes to tackle before potty time.
Introduce the potty
The potty will very quickly become like another family member, always there and very important. You could even let your child pick their own potty, they're more likely to get excited about it and accept it if they feel like they were the ones that chose it. Once you have your potty, introduce it to your child by explaining what it is and how they are supposed to use it. Then leave it out where you child can see it and explore it at their own pace. A potty will be new to your child and something they will need to get used to over time, so it could be a good idea to just get them to sit on it for a moment as you’re getting them changed for example so they familiarise themselves with it.
We all love to feel celebrated and cheered on from the sidelines, your little one is no different. Be their number 1 cheer leader and supporter by heaping on the praise and celebrate them when they do it right. This will help them associate their actions with positive affirmations and pride. Making a big deal about small steps in progress is key to letting your child know they’re on the right path.
A reward chart is also a a popular way of celebrating and noting your little ones achievements. Put a potty reward chart up in the bathroom and give them a sticker for every part of the routine they do well.
Dress for the occasion
Get into the habit of dressing your little one for the occasion. Clothes that are easy to remove without buckles, buttons or zips can be the difference between success and a little accident. Try choosing pants that pull up and down easily so they can do it themselves. Practising with them how to pull down their pants can also help, ask them to pull down their pants before nappy changes so they know what to do when it comes to potty time.
Be patient and keep calm
There will be accidents and it may take a little while, but we promise you one day it will just click and you would have cracked it. If your child slips up, just mop it up and wait for next time. It will take them a little while to get the hang of it.
Potty training may take time and practice, but approach it with patience and understanding, and you’ll soon see results. We promise you, that sense of parenting pride once they have mastered it is well worth it!