Potty training can, for some, be a very long process that may often feel like it will will never end. Don’t forget, though; this is a totally new skill for children, so is bound to take some time. Sometimes, a lack of any fast progress can build to frustration. However, rest assured; progress will come with patience, persistence and a good potty training strategy — and that’s exactly where today’s guide comes in. Here are are our Top Tips for Potty Training Tots.
When is the Best Time to Start Potty Training Your Child?
Knowing exactly when to start potty training can be tricky. Some parents leave potty training until the summer months when the child generally has less clothing on. This can not only save on washing, but also make drying washing easier because the weather is warmer. However, while that may suit the parent, is it the best timing for the little one?
The truth is that each child is ready for the training at a different time, so comparing your little one to other children of their age may only help in terms of a general picture. Each child is individual when it comes to timing, so starting to potty train is also very much an individual thing.
That said, when trying to work out the best time to start potty training your toddler, a few signs may help to identify their own, unique ‘best’ start time. Below, we outline a few indicators that the time may be right.
Signs to Look Out For, in Readiness for Potty Training
There are certain things to look out for that might suggest that it’s time to start potty training your little one. For example, try to spot signs that your child is aware of what is in their nappy. Do they show signs of not liking a wet or soiled nappy? Do they show awareness when going to the loo in their nappy? Maybe this involves them going somewhere quiet, perhaps slightly hiding behind furniture, or even making eye contact with you to ‘tell’ you they’re doing something.
Your child may become aware of the words used around going to the toilet — and indeed it’s healthy and useful for them to get to know them. For example, they might be aware that Mummy or Daddy goes in the bathroom for a ‘wee-wee’.
Children are always very keen to copy their friends, so look out for signs that they’re considering having a try, having seen their friends using a potty or trainer toilet seat. Or perhaps they have shown an interest in a potty in the shops. Showing them some when out shopping may allow you to gauge the level of any interest from your child.
Prepare Some Toileting Aids
There is a large variety of toileting aids on the market, from potties, to toilet seats, trainer seats that clip on to adult toilet seats, pretend toddler toilets, and a whole range of portable potties for when the family is on the go. You may also consider a step to help your child reach the toilet if using a toilet instead of a potty. This can also be helpful for handwashing.
Some parents also choose for their child to use potty training pants or ‘pulls-ups’ as they are also known. These can be a good stepping stone between a nappy and proper pants/knickers for the child, particularly while the child is still training and may have occasional accidents.
Starting Potty Training
There are some common sense things that parents can do when introducing potty training to infants:
- Try and remain consistence with your actions, so you don’t confuse your child.
- Try not to disrupt your child’s other routines when starting potty training.
- Let family members, carers and friends know your plan of action, so everyone in on the same page and your child gets continuity.
- When travelling or visiting other houses or locations, make sure you have your child’s potty with you.
- Talk to your child with words they understand in relation to toileting, introducing the potty etc.
- Find ways to make the potty a friendly object, not a daunting one.
- Maybe place the potty in the bathroom and encourage its use when you, yourself, are using the bathroom. You can make this fun.
- Encourage the washing of hands afterwards.
- Have some books or small toys next to the potty in case they choose to sit for a longer period than you anticipated. Obviously take care in relation to your child’s hygiene if doing so.
- When changing your child’s nappy, see if they will just sit on the potty to get used to it.
- Eating a meal stimulates the bowel, so after a large meal let your child sit on the potty for a while.
- If your child has a dolly or teddy bear, maybe sit them on the potty and make a game from it. Again, though, watch hygiene if doing so.
- If your child is a boy, it may be easier to start them off sitting instead of standing.
- Remember it’s important not to make a fuss if an accident happens. Making a fuss will not help your child warm to the idea of using the potty again, so keep things relaxed and know that accidents do happen. In fact, be prepared for them.
It’s usually best to master daytime potty training before starting on nighttime training. Nighttime training can take a while longer. Some children even sleep so soundly that they simply do not wake in order to go to the toilet at night. For those that do have nighttime accidents, it’s best to be prepared with a waterproof sheet on the bed.
A good sign that your child is ready for nighttime potty training is when they have a dry nappy at night. Try sitting your child on the potty or toilet before they go to bed and then again when they wake up. During the night, make sure the potty is near in case they wake up asking for it.
Tips for Successful Potty Training
- Make sure your child is actually ready — don’t rush it.
- Choose a good, quiet time to start.
- Maybe let your child pick their own potty from the shop or Internet.
- You may need more than one potty e.g. one for upstairs, another downstairs and/or in a specific bathroom.
- Lead by example — so long as it’s not taboo in your household, let your child see you on the loo.
- Use reward stickers and a chart.
- Make potty training fun!
- Always praise, never tell children off for toilet-related accidents.
- Have toys and books handy.
- Boys to sit down when starting.
- Girls to wipe from front to back.
- Admire your child’s output and praise them for it!
The following are very general guidelines only, so don’t worry if your child’s progress is different.
- Children tend to start to control their bowels before their bladder.
- By the age of 1 year, most infants will have stopped emptying their bowels at night.
- By 2 years, some children are dry during the day.
- By 3 years of age, some children are dry during the day, with only the occasional accident.
- By 4 years of age, most are dry during the day.
- It’s important to remember that at the age of 5 or 5 plus, one in five children may still wet the bed.
It’s important to never get cross with your child for the odd accident. The child will be aware of the accident and may be upset by it already.
Childcare Places at Leaps & Bounds Nursery & Pre-School in Edgbaston, Birmingham
A nursery place for your child in Edgbaston, near Birmingham
Leaps & Bounds Nursery provides weekday childcare for under-fives, which includes some free places for eligible children via Government childcare funding schemes. We are a nursery/pre-school in Edgbaston (B16), near Birmingham and may also suit those near Harborne, Ladywood, Bearwood and Smethwick. Why not request a guided tour of the nursery to see it for yourself — and bring your little one to see how they fit in! We’re also happy to answer any questions or, when you’re ready, to help you register your child for a place. Get started using a button below: