A young toddler pretending to teach her baby to toilet train
9th August, 2021

How to Toilet Train Your Child Successfully

Toilet training is a skill that teaches your child to be independent and confident. Your child may show signs as early as 18 months that they are ready to be toilet trained. They may:

  • take an interest when you go to the toilet
  • want to pull their pants up or down
  • have dry nappies for a period of time

It is important to speak to your child about the process. Explain to them where they will start to do their wees and poos. Before you start to train them, you can bring them to the toilet with you to show them how fun and easy it is to do.

One of the decisions you have to make is if you use a potty or toilet. Some kids don't like the potty, so it is good to try one out and see. You can get a step up to the "big toilet" so they feel comfortable sitting on it. You can also now buy a potty that looks like a miniature toilet that has a flushing sound. This works well for many children as they like the size of it and can also play with the flush button.

It is a good idea to start toilet training at a weekend when you don't have anything on or have to go anywhere to avoid accidents.

Teaching a toddler how to be toilet trained

Day 1

Wake up in the morning and wave bye bye to the nappy. Celebrate the fact they are going to be a big boy/girl now and use undies/pull ups.

With each meal of the day, get them to have a large drink so you know they will be ready to go to the toilet soon after their meal. Ask them every 20 minutes if they want to go to the toilet.

Encourage your child to go to the toilet when they show signs like wriggling around, passing wind but don’t force your child to sit on the toilet or it may feel like they are being punished.

Praise your child for sitting on the toilet/potty and if they do a wee or poo, clap or maybe give them a hi-five. Don't make a fuss if they have accidents (which they will), simply explain to them that it's ok but next time, they need to do it in the toilet.

Clean your child's bottom until they master it.

Ensure your child washes their hands after using the toilet, even if they don’t go, it is practicing good hygiene.

  • Make sure you’re child is eating lots of fibre so they don't get constipated and can be turned off the idea of pooing in the potty or toilet.

If you go out

  • Have them use the toilet before you leave the house
  • Bring multiple changes of clothes
  • Figure out where the nearest toilet is and remember to keep asking them if they need to go.

Staying dry overnight

It can take children months or even years to become dry at night.

The main sign that your child is becoming dry overnight is a dry nappy first thing in the morning. When you notice this starting to happen, you can try stopping nappies at night but it is a good idea not to rush this.

The takeaway

Don't be discouraged if your child doesn't get it straight away. it takes some children longer to understand the sensation but just keep encouraging them and praising them for when they do well. It may take days, weeks or months and every child is different so stay positive!

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