Potty training can be a stressful and difficult time for both parents and children. So I will be sharing my 5 top tips for successful training. Every child is different and like all other developmental milestones they will learn how to use the toilet at different times too.
My advice would be not to feel the pressure to start too early just because other parents have and remember to make it fun...
Below are my 5 top tips for successful training.
1. Finding the right time to potty train
Pick the right time to start. You should consider starting potty training when you feel your child is ready. Most children are ready to start between 18 months and 3 years old. The signs that would suggest that they may be ready include:
- They should be able to sit on and get up from the potty.
- They are aware when they have a wet and/or dirty nappy.
- They can tell you in advance when they have the urge to go.
- They are able to stay dry for at least 1-2 hours.
- They are able to communicate with you and follow instructions.
2. How to prepare
Start talking about 'poo' and 'wee' when you are changing their nappy to familiarise them with the terms. You can also read children’s books together on potty training to build their confidence, this is an excellent way to introduce them to potty training in a fun and relatable way.
3. Pick a potty
Make it fun and pick out a potty together. Keep the potty in the bathroom so they can see it, explain what it's for and let them practice sitting on it. Initially, it may be helpful to have more than one potty with one upstairs and one downstairs so that they always have one nearby. If you decide to use a toilet training seat you will also need a footstool to rest their feet on so they are in a good position for opening their bowels.
4. Get into a routine
Get an idea of their routine before starting. Try to figure out the time frame between the wet nappies and whether they open their bowels regularly around the same time each day.
Try to incorporate potty training into their existing routine. Initially encourage them to have potty time at regular 1-2 hour intervals and eventually it will start to come naturally to them. It’s important that those involved in childcare are aware of your potty training plan so that you can remain consistent.
5. Patience is key
It doesn’t happen overnight! It will take time for your child to learn this skill and there will be accidents along the way. It is important not to show your frustrations so that they don’t feel anxious about it the next time. Clear up the accidents and simply explain that the poo and wee go in the potty. It can be encouraging to give them praise when they do use the potty and you might even consider using reward sticker charts.
Other helpful resources
You can use resources such as the NHS website and ERIC, The Children's Bowel and Bladder Charity for further information on potty training.
Read More from Tara
All images by @themedicmummy
Follow Dr Tara | Instagram
Post Pregnancy Hair Loss with @themedicmummy
Our contributing GP @themedicmummy discusses the topic of postpartum hair loss, with tips on how to keep your hair as healthy as possible.
How To Keep Baby Warm In Winter With @themedicmummy
Our resident GP Tara, @themedicmummy shares her tips on how to keep baby warm this winter at bed time and when out and about.