When you’re potty training, wait until your child is at least two, and preferably closer to three.
Then firstly, before you start, plan ahead and have a big focus on everything to do with being potty trained.

  • Do lots of talking about wees and poos
  • And what you want your child to do.
  • And read them books about potty training.
  • Go to the shop together to choose a potty – or find one that will appeal to your child.
  • Ask your child what they would prefer – to tell you or to have a timer or phone app to remember to go.
  • If you have an older child who is potty trained, encourage your toddler to be in the same room, and clap when they do a wee or poo.
  • And choose a good time to start- perhaps in the summer when they can go bare-bottomed, or when you have a quiet week and are more relaxed.
  • And remember to buy your ‘big girl or ‘big boy’ pants may be with your child’s favourite characters that your child won’t want to get wet!

When you’re ready,

  • Tell your child exactly what you want them to do, and leave the nappy off during the day.
  • Coax them to sit on the potty every hour at first.
  • Smile, clap and quietly cheer if they perform.
  • And say never mind, maybe next time if they don’t.

Secondly, make sitting on the potty fun.
There are so many ways to do this.

  • Sit with them and give them you’re your undivided attention.
  • Have some special toys just for sitting on the potty.
  • Give a sticker if they’re successful.
  • Make up a potty song,
  • Play YouTube videos about using the potty.
  • If they use the toilet, put a drop of red or blue dye in the water so that a wee causes it to go orange or green.
  • Or for boys put a square of toilet paper or shaving foam for them to aim for.

And finally, be determined to stay really positive and friendly, and praise them every time they get it right.
Make sure that no matter what, you plan not to get cross with your child.
Let them hear you tell friends and family how successful they’ve been.
If there’s an accident, your toddler needs you to be totally calm and not upset if they make a mess.
Just clean up the
matter of factly and say ‘oh dear never mind.’

So the 3 tips to help make potty training less stressful –

  1. Plan ahead and have a big focus on everything to do with being potty trained.
  2. Find ways to make sitting on the potty fun
  3. And be determined to stay really positive and friendly.

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If you need more than three tips on this – or you’d like to discover the secrets you need to have happy well-behaved, children – please contact me by clicking here. You can arrange a free 20-minute (no obligation) chat to find out if working with me personally (by phone, Skype or face-to-face) would help you and your family. Contact Elizabeth

child behavioural expert
The author:

Elizabeth O’Shea is a parenting specialist child behaviour expert and one of the leading parenting experts in the UK.

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