Everything you need to know about potty training.

September 14, 2023

Everything You Need To Know About Potty Training

Potty training can be a daunting task for parents. When will your child be ready? How do you begin potty training? You want to make sure that the whole family is ready for this big change too.

It can be hard to know when to start potty training your child. That’s why we’re here with advice that will help you make an informed decision about when’s the best time for your child.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development or readiness for potty training, you can contact us at Childhealthy to arrange an appointment with one of our paediatricians who will be happy to review your child’s development and offer any advice.

A child being potty trained along with their stuffed toy

What is potty training?

Potty training is when you’re teaching your child to use the toilet instead of nappies. It’s a great way for them to learn how to do something on their own, and it can help teach responsibility as well. It’s an important part of growing up. The key to a successful potty training experience is being patient and consistent and accepting that accidents will happen!

When should I start potty training my child?

Every child is different and will reach the potty training milestone at different times. Some can be trained at 18 months, and some may not be fully trained until they’re four years old. And that’s ok. Generally, you’ll find girls are potty trained slightly earlier than boys. On average, children reach the age of two before they can control their bladder or bowels without nappies.

We recommend you start your child on the potty as soon as they show any interest in it. You can place a potty around the house to get them used to it being there. You should be able to spot the signs before too long, so when you do, give it a try and see what happens. When you begin, take it slow and let your child lead the way. Potty training is a journey and you’ll need plenty of patience along the way.

How do I know if my child is ready to be potty trained?

To determine if your toddler is ready for potty training, watch them closely for signs that they understand what you’re asking them to do.

Some signs that your child might be ready for potty training are:

  • They are able to remove their clothing and pull their pants back up on their own.
  • They understand the concept of ‘wet’ and ‘dry’.
  • They want to take their nappy off or try putting on their own underwear.
  • Having a dry nappy for a longer amount of time than usual or when being dry when waking from a nap.
  • They tell you when they are going to do a wee or poo.

Potty training Dos

  • Take it slow
    It’s important not to pressure your child – or yourself – when potty training. Follow their lead and let them learn at their own pace to ensure it’s not a stressful experience for anyone.
  • Make it fun
    There are plenty of potty training resources that you can use to help make potty training fun for you and your child. Books, games, songs, letting them choose a potty, even targets boys can aim for in the potty, can all add to the excitement of being a big boy or girl.
  • Talk about it
    The more you talk to your child about toilet habits, the more natural the process will feel. You can de-mystify using the potty and encourage them to tell you when they’re going to go.
  • Use rewards
    Stickers, stars or even the odd marshmallow, find out what will motivate your child to love using their potty. When starting out, you can give them a reward for every time they use their potty. Don’t worry, it won’t be be forever. Once they get the hang of using their potty, you can phase out the rewards.
  • Prepare for accidents
    Accidents are all part and parcel of potty training. Don’t let them stress you out. Even when your child seems to have the hang of it, they may still have the odd accident for a while. Make sure you’re prepared with a change of clothes and use a disposable bed mat or nappy pants to catch any night time accidents.
  • Consult your paediatrician
    Our paediatricians are experts when it comes to potty training and always available to help. Don’t be afraid to contact us to seek advice and guidance on which techniques will work best or ask questions about any concerns you have. We can help spot potential problems and are a reliable resource that can put you and your child at ease.

Potty training Don’ts

  • Don’t start too early
    It can be hard for toddlers to get the hang of going on a toilet or potty if they’re not ready. Let them take their time and go at their own pace.
  • Don’t scold your child
    Never punish your child when they have an accident, just clean it up and try again later.
  • Don’t give drinks too close to bedtime
    Avoid giving too many liquids before bedtime, as it will make it more difficult for your child to wake up in order to go to the toilet.
  • Don’t give up!
    Potty training can be tough and requires loads of persistence and patience. Don’t give up before you’ve given yourself enough time to train your toddler. Try and keep a diary of when they use the potty to track progress and keep a positive attitude.

When will my child progress from the potty to the toilet?

Of course, as mentioned earlier, every child is different. Some will progress from using the potty to using the toilet quite naturally. Some children are able to skip the potty and start using the toilet straight away. It really depends on your child.

The good news is that, once they have mastered using the potty, the transition to using the toilet is much easier!

Do you have a question for us about potty training? Or would you like to see something else featured in this article? Please do email us at info@childhealthy.co.uk with any questions.

If you do have any concerns about your baby’s development, you can contact us at Childhealthy and one of our paediatricians will be happy to review your child’s development and offer any advice.

Our Childhealthy health checks also offer the opportunity to chat with one of our paediatricians and raise any questions or concerns relating to your child’s health – from birth to teenage years.


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