9 Useful Tips When Toilet Training Your Toddler

Where, when and how to start? Many mums ask us how to begin potty training their toddler. These are the 9 ways we have found most successful –

  1. Most importantly, wait till they are ready – “What signs will I see that my toddler is ready to toilet train?” –
    Will start to show more interest in the toilet and in toileting and begin asking questions and may even want to join you in the bathroom (be prepared for company in the lavatory from now on – look at this time as a learning opportunity!).

    • May wake up from day time naps with a dry nappy.
    • May start ‘holding on’ for longer periods.
    • May start removing their nappy by themselves.
    • May be able to tell you when they need a nappy change.
  2. Take your toddler shopping for ‘big girl/boy’ underwear, and let them chose their favourite to begin the toilet training journey.
  3. We recommend that it is best to start directly on the toilet and not on a potty, as the transition from potty to toilet can be a distressing for some children.
  4. Choose a week when there is little change happening in your home life, a great time would be during a long weekend or a week spent at home. This allows for you to give the quality time and attention to toilet training for which it deserves.
  5. Be prepared for, and never make a big deal of any accidents. Be careful not to bribe, threaten or to get upset with your toddler as this can create anxiety and prolong the experience.
  6. Pull-up nappies are not ideal when beginning toilet training as they can confuse your toddler with when is and is not okay to ‘let go.’ Also wet underwear will send a signal to your toddler’s brain of ‘discomfort’ and they are more likely to develop the understanding of what needs to happen the next time to avoid that feeling of being wet.
  7. We are ready to help at Nursery – when you have begun toilet training at home let us know and we will do everything we can to help.
  8. Your toddler may need to continue using a nappy for sleep times for a while longer, when they begin waking up with a dry nappy that is a sign that they may be ready to remove it.
  9. Some points to remember –
    • There is no ‘correct’ age to begin – every child is unique and will be ready in their own time – no need to rush them.
    • When really focused during play your child may forget they need to go and this may be a time when they will need extra reminding.
    • There is no fixed length of time it takes – be prepared for little setbacks along the way… this is all part of the journey!

We hope this helps and we love to hear your feedback – please share any strategies that you have found useful when toilet training your toddler, that we can share with the rest of our Nursery families.

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