Top tips for potty and toilet training

Most parents look forward to the time when their toddler is free from nappies and fully toilet trained.

But potty and toilet training can be a tricky and time-consuming process. It’s a brand-new skill for your toddler to master and every child learns in different ways and at different speeds.

Most parents start potty training sometime between the ages of two-three but don’t feel pressured. Make sure it’s the right time for you and your toddler and take things slowly at your child’s pace.

Here’s some top tips to help you tackle the challenge.  

1. Ready, steady, go

Don’t attempt potty training until you’re sure your child is absolutely ready. If it’s too soon, you’ll be mopping up a lot of accidents! Every toddler is different so there’s no hard and fast rule on when to start but there will be clear signs your child is developing bladder control so look out for them.

2. Recognise the signs

You’ll know your child is ready to potty train when:

  • They know they’ve got a wet or dirty nappy
  • They know they are having a wee or a poo and may take themselves off somewhere quiet
  • Their nappy stays dry for at least an hour
  • They tell you when they need a wee

3. No routine changes

Potty training is a major transitional period for both you and your toddler and it can take time to get right. Make sure you don’t have any major changes looming to disrupt the process such as the birth of another child, moving house or starting nursery school. Consistency is key to avoid any confusion for your toddler.

4. Show ‘n’ tell

Talk to your child about the potty and what it’s for. Children learn by watching and copying so looking at an older sibling using it can be helpful. If not, use your toddler’s teddies and toys to demonstrate how to use the potty.

5. Get the right equipment

Having the right tools for the job can help make toilet training easier.

Pull-up potty training pants help your toddler make the transition between a nappy and real pants and are easy to pull up and down quickly.

This month, Nuby is launching a brand-new toilet seat to help your little one feel like a big girl or boy! The training seat has a non-slip rubber grip for security and easy grip handles to make placement and removal as easy as 1,2,3. It’s portable and convenient for travel so you can take it with you – helping your toddler maintain their routine.

Or toilet train using a mini version of the real thing. Nuby’s mini toilet is just the job.

6. Pile on the praise

Celebrate the wins. Whenever your child sits on the potty and successfully does a wee or poo, pile on the praise. Even sitting on the potty can be cause for celebration so make sure your child knows when they’re getting it right. However, be patient and take care not to scold your child for any accidents or when they get it wrong.

7. Familiarity

Familiarise your toddler with the basics. Read lots of books with your toddler about the potty and going to the toilet. Change nappies in the bathroom wherever possible to cement the association and keep the potty near the toilet. If you recognise the signs that your child needs to go, place them on the potty. Also ask if they need the potty regularly – this will help them to recognise the signals their body is giving them. It will also build the associations between needing a wee or poo and the potty and toilet.

8. Establish regular routines

Establishing regular toileting routines for your child helps build understanding. Encourage your toddler to sit on the toilet after each meal. This is a good way to encourage bowel movement as digestion is followed by a natural urge to go to the toilet.

9. Easy clothing

When you’re potty training, it makes sense to dress your toddler in easy-to-remove clothes. Trousers with elasticated waists that are easy to pull up and down or dresses and skirts.

10. Pick your moment

Many parents find potty training during the summer season is easier as they can let their toddler go nappy free. It’s also easier to dry clothes when the inevitable accidents happen and can be less frustrating for parents. Just remember to remind your child to use the potty every hour or so.

However, don’t put off potty training if your child is ready just because it’s not summertime.

11. Spread the word

Make sure anyone who cares for your child is aware of your plans for potty training and the methods you are using. That way, you can be reassured that they will follow your lead and be consistent with your approach when looking after your little one.

12. The fear factor

Some children are scared of the sound of a flushing toilet. If your toddler is put off by the flush – just avoid flushing until later when your child isn’t in the room. Their fear will gradually go but you don’t want to put them off potty training before they’ve barely even started.

Wait until your child is dry through the day before even attempting to toilet train at night. This should happen naturally but might take a bit longer to achieve.

Get prepared, be consistent in your training and take things slowly – before you know it, you’ll be rid of those nappies forever.

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