Top 5 Tips for Successful Potty Training


Having now potty trained three children, although I wouldn't call myself an expert, I would say I have some good knowledge on the process and what does and doesn't work. Of course all children and different, so what has worked for ours may not work for yours, but I'm hopeful that these 5 tips could lead to a successful potty training experience for all.

1: The biggest and most important tip of all, is to only start potty training if YOUR child is ready and showing signs.

Do not feel pressured into starting just because family members tell you you should, or because you see children younger than yours doing so. Every child is different and gets there at their own pace. The biggest signs your child is ready are:

- Being able to hold themselves longer (nappies staying dry longer).
- Them telling you that they have been to the toilet / need to go, and a want to get out of their dirty nappy.
- Hiding when going to the loo.
- Having a general interest in the toilet and the process of going to the loo.

2: Praise the good and don't focus on the negatives.

You cannot give enough praise when it comes to potty training - the more cheerleaders the better I say! At first you could just give praise for them sitting on the potty, and then as they progress you could introduce other rewards. We used chocolate as a treat with all three children and it worked well for us. Just a small piece for each time they went on the potty for the first week or two. You could alternatively use a reward chart or jar, and then treat them to a big 'prize' after they collect a certain number. 

There will understandably be accidents throughout the process too, but from experience we've found it's best to briefly mention what they did wrong, and then just clean up the mess and move on. Focussing on the negative could put your child off from using the potty / toilet at all. 

3: Make sure there's easy access to a potty or toilet at all times to help avoid accidents.

We have a potty downstairs, of course the toilet upstairs, and then a travel potty we use when out and about. I would really recommend a travel potty for out and about as you really never know when they're going to need to go. We have the My Carry Potty but there's a few options you can buy, and all are light enough to put under the buggy or in a backpack.

4: Buy lots of knickers / pants... and then buy some more!

You really can never have enough of these, especially for those early days. A lot of people opt for the bottom free approach, but we personally think it's best to introduce bottoms as early on as possible - it's all well and good having them nail it when naked, but you might have to start over again when you add clothes. Getting them used to wearing pants means you can carry on with your days as normal too; important if you've got school runs you can't avoid like me!

5: Follow your child's pace.

My final piece of advice is to not try and rush your child through their potty training journey. Follow their pace and try and make it enjoyable for everyone. If your child has aced being dry during the day, don't automatically assume they are ready to be dry at night or during naps. Both of these come with time - and nighttime dryness actually requires a hormone for them to be able to achieve it! There's no need to rush with anything, especially when it comes to your child.

I hope these tips have been helpful! Are there any you would add?

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