Top Tips for Potty Training

4 min read

Last Modified 28 June 2023 First Added 30 May 2023

Are you ready to say goodbye to nappies?  

Many see this as one of the most exciting milestones in a child’s life. Potty training is a new skill for your child to learn, it is best to take this phase slow and at your child’s pace.  

When to Start Potty Training? 

 There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to potty training, however, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind.  

Most parents begin potty training when their child is around 2 to 3 years old, some may choose to start earlier or later. It is important to be aware of signs of readiness, such as: 

  • Your child shows interest in the toilet or potty.
  • Your child stays dry for longer periods (not wetting themselves).  
  • Your child can follow instructions and communicate their needs.  
  • Your child knows when they are peeing and may tell you that.  
  • Your child can sit on the potty and get up from it.  

Remember, you cannot force your little one to use the potty if they are not ready. Potty training is typically smoother when your child is at the final stage. If you begin sooner, be prepared for accidents as your child learns. 

Potty training

What Equipment is Needed for Potty Training?  

You do not need fancy equipment to start potty training.

Here are some essentials to get you started:  

  • Potty Chair: A small potty chair is a must-have. It should be comfortable, sturdy, and easy to clean. Such as the Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Potty
  • Travel Potty Chair: A comfortable and durable potty chair that can be easily folded and taken on short and long journeys, for example, the Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Travel Potty with a Foldable Seat Ring.  
  • Step Stool: To help your child reach the toilet or sink. This should be stable with a non-slip surface.  
  • Training Pants: These are absorbent or disposable pants designed to help children transition from nappies to underwear. These are easy to pull up and down and provide protection against accidents.  
Mum and son with travel potty.

Tips and Tricks: How to Start Potty Training  

Potty training is a big milestone for both you and your child, with the right approach, it can be a positive experience.

Here are some key potty training tips: 

  • Remember to wait for when your child is ready for potty training and be sure to look out for these signs.  
  • Introduce the potty. Let your child explore and get comfortable with the potty before training. Encourage them to sit on the potty fully clothed, just to get comfortable with the positioning.  
  • Use the right positive language to describe what is happening such as “wee-wee” or “poo-poo.” Avoid negative language especially if there are any accidents.  
  • Let your child get comfortable with naked time without a nappy. Keep the potty nearby so if they feel they need to go, then they can. Encourage them to use the potty when they feel the urge.  
  • Once your child is comfortable with the potty, you can start adding clothes back in. Begin with loose-fitting clothes that are easy to pull down and up.  
  • Keep the potty in the bathroom, if you have more than one floor, we advise having one upstairs as your child can reach the potty easily wherever they are.  
  • Encourage your child to sit on the potty after meals, as digesting food can often lead to having to poo. Give your child a book or toy to help them stay still.  
  • If your child is regularly having a poo, suggest taking their nappy off for that time, if they are upset by the idea, just put the nappy back on and try again in a few weeks.  
  • Have the right equipment to make this a smoother process.  
  • And most importantly, encourage and praise your little one for any achievements. A little high-five after their first successful “wee” in the potty, or a surprise pocket toy gift can go a long way toward motivating children.  

Potty Training Delays and Challenges

Children with disabilities or illnesses may find it more difficult to learn how to use a potty or toilet. This may be challenging for you both, but it is important to not avoid potty training for too long and still enjoy the process!  

The charity Contact has more information on potty training for children living with a disability

Visit the Contact website for support and ways of contacting other parents with a disabled child.  

In summary, potty training involves several benefits such as greater independence for your child, saving money on nappies, and reducing the environmental impact of disposable nappies.  

This training process may take a few weeks or months, but with patience, consistency, and praise, your little one will soon be potty trained!  

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