Whenever your little one is ready…
…which may be soon, however don’t worry if they haven’t shown any interest in it just yet. Using a potty is a huge new skill to learn and it’s best to tackle it slowly and patiently (which will be hard sometimes!). Every little one is different, so don’t compare with other mums and children, it will all happen when it’s supposed too, we promise…
Interestingly, most children can control bowels before bladders, so you may notice that;
- Around 1 year old, the night-time poos will have mostly stopped,
- At 3 years old, 90% will be dry most days (but remember that accidents are still common and normal!),
- By 4 years old, most little ones have succeeded and are reliably dry during the day!
Staying dry through the night usually takes a little longer, although this will be concurred sometime between 3 and 5 years old, however always expect little accidents!
Many parents think about starting the journey between 2 and 3, but there is no perfect moment. Summer is a popular time to embark on potty training, when there are fewer clothes to wash, and they dry more quickly! Another important thing to consider is to only start when there’s not going to be any big distractions or changes to family life, i.e. moving to a new house, etc.
Looking for the signs…
Let your little one tell you, and set the pace by looking out for little signs they are ready, which will include things like;
- they can tell when they've got a wet or dirty nappy
- they get to know when they're weeing and might even let you know they're doing it
- the gap between weeing is at least an hour (or you will spend all day on the potty!)
- they know when they might need to wee and may say something to you before it happens
Potty training will happen the fastest if your little one is showing more of these signs, if you start before some of these signs appear, be prepared for lots of little accidents!
The key to starting your potty journey is to make sitting on it, part of everyday life for your little one.
Always make it handy and try to take it everywhere with you, whether that be lifting it from upstairs to downstairs or taking it away for the weekend! If your child is happy to, let them sit when doing nappy changes, especially when you’re getting them dressed for the day or ready for bed at night.
Trying to make the process as fun as you can will help, maybe placing some books or toys to play with around the potty, to help keep child sitting still and maybe even consider a potty training chart (we have one you can download below!).
Start by talking about nappy changes as you do them, so they understand what a wet nappy, wee and poos are. It might also help, when you can, to change nappies in the bathroom so it builds an association with the place people go to the loo.
As you probably know by now, little ones love to watch and copy things that mummy, daddy and siblings do, so let your little one see you or anyone in the family using the toilet and explaining what and why you are doing it.
Sitting on the potty for a little while after each meal is always a good idea, as digesting food often leads to the need to poo. This can always be encouraged by toys or books to play with while sitting still.
At first, your little one might tell you when they are needing to wee and you can encourage them to sit on the potty, but if your child slips up, just clean up and wait until next time, it always take them a while to get the hang of it every time! It’s really important not to fuss or make a bit deal over a little accident, as it could knock their confidence for the next time.
Your child will naturally be happy and proud when they succeed and praise from you will help to encourage the behaviour to repeat. Just make sure you balance it so they get plenty of praise, but a big deal is not made, as this can make them overwhelmed and risk them not doing such a good job next time! A sticker chart is a great idea to keep the momentum going and reward your little one at every success!
If you can get your little one feeling encouraged to use the potty for a wee, it will really build their confidence for doing a poo. If your little one has a pattern and regularly does a poo at similar times each day, leave them without a nappy (we know, it sounds like a risky move) and suggest they try sitting on the potty. However, if this creates any upset or worry, just pop the nappy back on and use it as the sign to wait a few more weeks before trying again.
A potty that looks just like a tiny little toilet?...
Yes, you read it right, Nuby has a super cute miniature training toilet that looks & feels just like an adult version!
With so many awesome features including a real life-like toilet flushing sound when you press the flush button, a lid that opens & closes and an integrated splash guard design that actually stays in place (hurrah) you'd be potty not to get your little one practicing using this.
What else makes this training toilet awesome? Well it's got a back that locks in place & fits full sized wipes, it features an anti-skid rubber base, so it won't be sliding away while there's a training session taking place & the pot is removable for super easy cleaning.
Take a look here and see how cute it is for yourself…