Top Tips for Toilet Training

Best Potty Training tips for Happy Toilet Tots!

In the 27 years I’ve been working with families, I’ve lost count of how many little ones I’ve helped ditch the nappies using my best potty training tips. In all of these years of supporting families, one thing remains clear – toilet training is a child thing, not an age thing.

Most little ones start the journey to ditching nappies between 18 months and 3 years old, but some children are almost 4 by the time they are completely dry during the day.

Without wanting to sound big headed, my relaxed and understanding attitude towards toilet training, are why my methods are recommended as ‘the best potty training tips’ by parents and other professionals worldwide.

My easy-to-follow guide to toilet training makes the whole transition from nappy to pants be as mess and stress-free as possible.

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It’s a little potty to use a potty!

My best potty training tips are to ditch the potty entirely!

With the little ones in my care over the years and my own two children, I’ve always trained direct to toilet. Why? Well, if you’re training to potty, you then have to train all over again to the toilet and sometimes this can be a big issue.

Toilet’s are big, toilets are very different from potties, and toilets are a new thing all over again! I’ve had so many parents come to me with little ones who are totally dry and use the potty – but refuse to use the toilet. This can be a real issue when out and about, starting nursery or school, or visiting friends and family unless you want to carry a potty with you wherever you go.

Instead, if they don’t feel safe on the toilet – use a toilet training seat (you can lift them on, just like you help them onto the potty.) Once they have mastered getting to the bathroom on time, invest in a little footstool to help them onto the toilet – this can really help.

While I totally understand why many choose to use a potty – there really isn’t a need to use one at all, unless your toilet is tricky to get to in a hurry. Please remember though, it is you as a parent that knows your little one best, so if you think they will only use a potty, then of course, that’s fine. My best potty training tips in this case, to make the eventual transition from potty to toilet go smoothly, is to let them sit on the toilet sometimes too and to always have the potty in the bathroom rather than the front room so they know this is where we go to wee/poop! The reduction in accidents in the long run is pretty remarkable.

If you do decide to use a potty – please think about purchasing an eco friendly version like this one. Let’s face it – Plastic is not fantastic. Without wanting to go full on eco warrior on you – There is now 5.25 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic in our ocean & 46,000 pieces in every square mile of ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes.

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Look for the signs!

Rather than going by age – go by your own child. Don’t worry if Barbara at No.34 toilet trained her toddler at 20 months and your little one is almost 3, every child is different! You’ll save yourself lots of stress (and mess) by not comparing your little one to others. Relax! It’s easy to rush into toilet training – but you’ll only give yourself a headache. Let them go at their own pace in life and show you when they’re ready.

Signs to watch out for are:

° Having bowel movements on schedule

° Having longer periods of being dry (in their nappy)

° Talking about bodily functions and going to the toilet 

° Showing an interest in the toilet when you go 

° Telling you they’ve done a wee/poo (pointing or vocal)

° They follow simple instructions

° Taking their nappy off lots

° Showing more independence (wanting to do things for themselves more like trying to put shoes on)

° Wanting to use the toilet like you or their older sibling and attempting it themselves.

Positive vibes

Even if your little one doesn’t quite make it to the toilet, and doesn’t quite do anything on it, the trying is the key. To get them as far as the toilet is an achievement in itself so make a big deal for any effort made! super positive vibes are the way forward!

Have a fabulous reward chart by the toilet or put stickers on their T-shirt every time they try or go to the toilet. By making it a fun and positive thing – they’ll want to make the effort to try.

Remember the key is trying to go and not doing. It may become a bit of a game, wanting to sit on the toilet lots, but don’t discourage this – it’s all good practice and a step closer to ditching the nappies forever!

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Less is more!

The less stress – the less mess! Let’s face it, poo’s and wee’s in pants are no fun to change, and no fun to feel if your small, so don’t make it into a big deal if accidents happen. They will happen, some days more often than others there will be mess, so keep your cool and don’t stress.

A general guide is if your little one has more than 4 accidents a day, they probably are just not quite ready yet. Leave it a few weeks, go back to nappies, and then try again. More often than not – going back to the beginning and starting again is the fresh slate they need to smash toilet training the second time around.

Children with special needs tend to begin potty training later than other children, so try not to worry if your child has extra needs and is showing no sign of wanting to use the toilet.

If you have any concerns during toilet training your little one, or are worried your older child is having issues please seek professional medical advice.

Night time toilet training

Toilet training at night is very different to the day (although some children pick it up very quickly!) Again – it’s a child thing and not an age thing. Deep sleepers often take a little longer to master dry nights.

I shared my tops tips for dry nights are over on CBeebies if you’d like to read more.

For more toilet training tips – follow me over on social media where I share daily parenting tips, free LIVE IGTV and Facebook workshops sessions and more. I also offer FREE 1:1 support.

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Every child is different – go by your own little ones pace and don’t worry or compare to others.

Fi Star-Stone

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