Tips From Parents We Have Helped With Potty Training

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For the last five years we have run a summer potty training programme where we help guide parents through the stages of potty training.

 

We ask parents to feed back some of the tips that have worked best for them.  Here are some of our favourites:

 

To go for it and don’t turn back, even when the going gets tough & your washing machine is doing overtime, don’t go back to nappies at it confuses the child & prolongs the process.

 

Lots of patience!

 

Look for signs of readiness in your child (announcing a need, being able to hold for longer among many) and persevere, even when your child has an upside down day after many accident-free days. It will be fine the next day.

 

Do a potty routine chart so u know when she’s going in early days Sing songs when on potty and most important don’t worry about mess We’ll get there eventually she’s just taking her time.

 

If you are going to potty train do it, don’t confuse the child by putting them in a nappy to go out.

 

Don’t get angry at accidents.

 

Follow your child’s lead, don’t stress and take at least a week with your child at home to maintain continuity.

 

Know the difference between not being ready and failing! Avoid pull-ups!

 

You need to make take the leap of faith! Take the nappy off and stick to it!

 

Dont stress about it, as your child will pick upon it

 

Relax and breathe, your children can feel your tension.  If you’re worried, they will be too.

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14 comments on “Tips From Parents We Have Helped With Potty Training

  1. Jo Hart on

    Really need help.

    My 2 year old is going through potty training. However I can not get her to sit on the potty she stragauls it. And wees like a man or if in the garden like a dog. She knows when she wants to go but just will not do it propally. Any suggests will be very grateful! She has a fully on paddy when try to sit. We have brought and tried everything.

    Reply
    • Di Titterton on

      Hi Jo, it sounds like your daughter is ready to train, and we would recommend that you start by putting in place a good routine.(See our blogs on the Getting started page of the website). Talk to her about what is expected, especially that wee and poo go down the loo, and encourage her to keep trying to practise sitting on the potty or toilet. Toys or book while she sits there may help her settle for longer. Things like blowing bubbles can be a good distraction and can also engage the right muscles to help do a wee or poo. Rewards may help, and introducing rewards for the wider routine and things like helping to manage clothes, flush the toilet and wash hands can be motivating to them. Some children are a bit fearful of the toilet and this change away from nappies can be quite a major change for children so as frustrating as it is try to keep calm and positive. She will get there. Good luck. We would love you to join our potty training academy so that we can help you through each stage of the potty training process. Sign up now, we start very soon. x

      Reply
  2. Elaine on

    Hi I’m worried I’m useless as my 2 and a half years old son is still in nappies he shows little interest in potty training but tells me sometime s he’s done the toilet I feel a failure and can’t see him being out of nappies anytime soon. Can I get some advice.

    Reply
    • Di Titterton on

      Hi Elaine, you are not useless and not alone in finding potty training difficult. In research parents regularly tell us that it’s one of the most stressful parts of parenting they have encountered to date. Two and a half is a good time to start potty training, but it’s important to look out for the signs of readiness and to start by putting in place a good routine. If you sign up for our free course we will send you emails with links to all the articles we have written about each stage of training, which helps break it down into manageable stages. We also have free resources too. Please don’t worry, every child gets potty trained and it’s no reflection on their likely future success or on your parenting skills.

      Reply
  3. Gemma Crump on

    My daughter is 2 and half and is brilliant at using potty/toilet as long as she is naked from waste down. As soon as she has pants and bottoms on she will just wee anywhere and not even say she needs toilet. I have tried persevering but She really dose not care one little bit that she is soaked and would stop like it all day if I let her. Any advice please xx

    Reply
    • Di Titterton on

      Hi Gemma, This is a common occurrence with toddlers. It seems to be that if they start potty training with no clothes on the bottom half, when clothes go back on they think it’s a nappy that has gone back on. The best advice we can give is to persevere (sorry, know that can be messy!) but they do need to learn through trial and error. When accidents happen get your daughter to sit on the potty/toilet to ensure she has fully emptied her bladder. Try not to keep asking her if she needs a wee, but instead you can introduce set toilet times. Ask her if her body gives her any clues that she needs a wee to try to get her to recognise the internal signals that she needs to go to the toilet. Rewards for getting wee in the toilet can sometimes work, but always keep positive and try not to get annoyed at accidents. Good luck x

      Reply
  4. Kerry on

    My son is nearly two years old and for about 7 months he is dry when he wakes up. When he goes a wee he tells us straight away that he has done it and does not like the wet nappy on. He goes and gets a clean nappy and tries to change it. When he goes a poo he tells us as well and can’t stand having the nappy on. He does the same and goes and gets a new nappy and the wipes. Would you say he is ready to start potty training?

    Reply
    • Di Titterton on

      Hi Kerry, he sounds like a model child! Yes I think he is ready to go for it and because he dislikes the feeling of wetness, I imagine he will learn from accidents pretty quickly. Start by putting in place a good routine and when you take the nappy off, try not to switch back as that can be confusing. Accidents are part of learning, he has mastered the first stage which is knowing that he has done a wee, and the next stage is anticipating this and getting to the toilet in time to do a wee. This takes practise and accidents are a sign of learning, so do not mean that he isn’t ready. Good luck!

      Reply
  5. Amy on

    My daughter is nearly 2 and a half. We’ve started the potty training process using a star chart to help encourage her, at home it’s working well Although I leave her with nothing on her bottom half as she uses pull ups as a normal nappy and still grasping the idea of pulling her pants down. However, what would best to do when we go out? I dont want to confuse her too much.

    Reply
    • Di Titterton on

      Hi Amy, yes it’s really difficult for children to potty train in Pull Ups as they look and feel exactly like a nappy! We would recommend that you switch straight to pants both at home and when out and about. We get loads of comments from parents who potty train in the summer with no bottoms on, then as soon as they start wearing pants accidents start again as the child gets confused. It’s best to go straight to the normal behaviour expected in one step rather than two. This may cause you to be clearing up accidents in the short term but your daughter will learn form these as she’ll start to connect the feeling in her body of a full bladder with wet pants. Try to keep clothing easy to manage – no tricky buttons or belts. When you go out and about, you could try putting a Dry Like me pad in her pants to catch small accidents and go prepared with a change of clothes and also take a potty in a carrier bag (no need to buy special travel potties, a regular one from home will do the job!)

      Reply
  6. Angela on

    My daugher will be 3 in one month. We have tried to potty train her unsuccessfully twice (when she turned 2 and 2.5) and both times she seemed traumatised by it. We tried to make it fun and praised her when she did a wee in the potty and gave a sticker but she was literally clinging to me all day and I had to physically hold her on the potty while she was crying. She seems terrified of weeing without a nappy.
    We have a potty and toilet seat for her and she used to enjoy sitting on both, but only with her clothes on. Now she won’t sit on either of them at all! She has never liked being naked and says she wants to be in nappies, although she now hates having her nappy changed but doesn’t want knickers.
    She is ready in every way apart from seeming scared of potty training. I don’t know what to do anymore. No incentives seem to help either. Any advice? I feel like I am failing and am getting worried she will never train!

    Reply
    • Di Titterton on

      Hi Angela, That sounds very stressful, and not fun for you or your daughter. I’m sure she will train but it may take some time and you may need the patience of a saint! The most important thing for now is to take a step back and start again. Start by working through the routine, read our blog on this here, and explaining to her what’s happening. Let her watch other family members in the bathroom and also let her role play through the routine with dolls or teddies. Sometimes swapping roles and getting her to tell you what to do might help her to learn and become more used to the change. Keep positive, and it might be an idea to start by leaving a nappy on the potty for her to sit on. Let her choose her own pants as that might help motivate her to want to wear them. Practise, consistency and positivity are the keys to cracking this! Good luck. Di x

      Reply
  7. Yvette Louise Clough on

    Hi.
    I’m at my wits end with my 3 year. We have had to go back into pull ups because he is costing me a small fortune in under pants. We have the wees pretty much down but not the poo’s. We have tried everything and I mean everything and it’s just not happening. We have had days where we have been successful and then the next day back to square one. I’m really at a loss what to do next. He can’t be the kid that goes to school in pull ups but at the minute I can’t see ever getting there.

    Reply
    • Di Titterton on

      Hi Yvette, Problems with poo are common in children and we have lots of articles about this on the website. If he is managing ok with wees, then it might be an idea to put him back in pants with Dry Like Me pads at the back of the pants. These pads were originally designed for children who were potty trained but still having poo accidents. It’s also important to check he isn’t constipated which can cause leakage of poo, read our article on spotting the signs of constipation to check for this.

      Reply

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