Potty Training Commando Style


The sun is out and it’s the perfect time to start potty training.  Summer means less layers of clothes to wash after accidents and it’s a great time to get in the garden where the mess of accidents are far less stressful than when they land on the furniture or carpets!


Jude and I often get asked if we advise parents to let their children go underwear & clothing free when they are in the first stages of potty training.


We totally get the appeal; less washing after accidents and faster access to the potty or toilet.  We do however find that parents that have tried this sometimes contact us a couple of weeks later to say their child was doing really well but then as soon as they dress them in pants and clothes the accidents start again.


It’s difficult to categorically conclude why this happens.  It might be that clothes slow them down, so they need to re-think the timing between recognising the need to go to the toilet or potty and actually getting there.   Alternatively, it may be that they get used to the feeling of nothing against their skin and then when pants come back on they think of them as a nappy. We don’t however find this is a problem when going from nappies to pants, as children recognise there is a difference in feeling, and so are less likely to get confused.


Our advice is that it’s easier to teach the full potty training routine once and from the outset.  We would therefore recommend going from nappies into pants and clothes.  It does of course make sense to choose clothes that are easy for your toddler to manage themselves, so avoid any tricky buttons or zips.

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2 comments on “Potty Training Commando Style

  1. Anna on

    Hi, our 3 year old decided she was ready to use the potty/big girl toilet in February but we are still having multiple accidents a day. 90% of the time she refuses to poo on the potty. She is on medication for constipation but even since that has kicked in she still won’t go. She has successfully pooed on the toilet a handful of times so we know she can do it. Any tips as we have tried rewards, stickers, treats etc and are out of ideas on how to crack it. We have also regressed with wee this last week.

    • Di Titterton on

      Hi Anna

      Constipation can make potty training very difficult and can increase the amount of wee accidents that children have as sometimes the poo puts pressure on the bladder. The most important thing is to get the constipation under control, which can take time. In the meantime it’s critical to ensure she does not withhold her poos, therefore if your daughter won’t poo in the potty or toilet give her a nappy to poo in. Allow her only to wear it in the bathroom and only when she is doing a poo. Encourage her to then flush the poo down the loo and keep communicating to her that this is where the poo goes. Dry Like Me pads are disposable pads that fit inside children’s own pants and can help with the mess and stress of wetting and soiling accidents and may also help reinforce the learning to connect brain and bladder. If you are at all concerned, we would recommend you seek further medical advice to ensure the constipation is managed. Good luck


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