Potty Training: When and How to Potty Train your Child

Potty training can seem like a daunting task for many reasons. However, if your child is definitely ready to begin, then the process will be a little less challenging. As them being ready is the first crucial key to success, it’s important to understand what exactly ready looks like.

What is the best potty-training age?
The 'perfect' time to begin potty training does not exist, the best time is simply when the child is ready. This may be at 18 months or could be up to 3 years. Starting too early may take longer to train your child, so be sure not to rush them. Typically, children begin potty-training between 18 months to 2 and ½ years. Around this age, there are many signs you can look out for, try to be aware of the following, which may be indicators that your child is ready to begin potty-training:
  • They seem interested in the toilet, potty, or big girl or big boy underpants.
  • They stay dry for two or more hours.
  • They complain when their nappy is wet or dirty and want it to be changed; they cry and display signs of obvious discomfort.
  • They can follow simple instructions such as walk to the bathroom, sit down.
  • They can pull their pants up and down.
  • They know when they need to pee and may say so in advance.

General tips for starting potty-training:
Once you have established that your child is definitely ready, it is important to introduce it properly. Here are some general tips to help you and your child transition to this new period:
  • Involve your child by bringing them shopping with you to choose a potty, it will make them feel included and excited about the process.
  • Choose big boy or big girl underwear with their favourite cartoons or designs on them.
  • Place the potty in a convenient spot, the bathroom is ideal as they will begin to associate the two but placing the potty in their bedroom after they’ve had a nap will make it easy for them.
  • Stick to a routine and be consistent.
  • Praise, praise, praise. Don’t punish mistakes.
  • Use a reward or sticker chart, every time your child does good, they get a new sticker to place on the chart.
  • Make potty-training time more fun with an upbeat song.
  • Remain patient, it may take longer than you expected, but they will get there.

Tips for potty-training when you are out and about:
Whilst establishing a potty-training routine, it’s important to be consistent. With this in mind, going out and about may seem a little bit daunting. Here are some tips to make it that bit easier:
  • Always do a toilet trip before you leave.
  • Be prepared; buy a travel potty and keep washable liners in the car for travel seats. Encourage them to try out their travel potty at home first so they are used to it before you head out.
  • Pack a bag with spare essentials such as fresh clothes, wipes and toilet paper.
  • Encourage them to use the potty in a different room at home first so they become familiar with using it in a different location.
  • As always, accidents may happen, don’t worry and ensure them that it is totally normal for these to happen.

Potty-training is a difficult time and it’s by no means going to be perfect! Take your time, don’t panic and have confidence that they will get there in the end.

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