Thinking about starting on potty training?  Our staff have had many years of experience!  We have gathered it together here and hope you find it helpful.

Don’t base your decision on when to start potty training purely on age or when friends children are potty trained, children all master this at different times and it is important it is the right time for your child.  Starting too early may simply mean the whole process goes on longer than necessary.

Look out for signs that your child is ready to begin toilet training.  Are they showing signs of interest in the toilet and awareness of their bowels?  Does your child indicate when their nappy needs changing?  This could be verbal although it might not, so look out for other ways of communicating this, maybe they pat their nappy?  Or hold the back?  Or go into a quiet corner when they are filling their nappy?  All of these show that your child is starting to have some awareness of their bowel movements.

Some children will say they want to wear ‘big boy’ or ‘big girl’ pants, particularly if they have older siblings who do.

Have a potty at home which your child can begin to sit on before getting in the bath or before getting dressed, just to become familiar with it.

Use lots of praise – stickers are always popular at Nursery!  Take your child shopping for their pants and show that it is exciting.  Share stories and books about potties; we’ve got some at Nursery School which you can borrow.

If you’re going to use pull ups to help your child transition into pants, help your child to practice pulling them up and down – they may need to do it quite quickly!  The same can be said for pants too.  Think about the clothes your child is wearing when they’re first starting to use the potty or toilet.  Belts or stiff buttons can be fiddly and slow things down.  Tights can be really tricky for girls to pull up and down, especially if they are under a pair of trousers.  Leggings or jogging bottoms are the easiest to pull up and down.

Some children might not want to use a potty but might prefer to use the toilet straight away.

Share the systems/words you’re using/ rewards etc with others who look after your child.  A consistent approach will make things much easier for your child.

For those with boys – there are stickers and ‘targets’ that you can put in the toilet to help with their aim!  Some boys will prefer to sit down to begin with.

Changes in a child’s life can set things back a bit with potty training.  Even if they are happy in themselves, the arrival of a new baby, a house move or a change in parent’s working patterns can all have an impact.  It might be best to avoid potty training until things have settled into a normal routine.

Remember, it wont happen overnight and accidents will happen, just be prepared with LOTS of spares if you go anywhere!  If your child becomes very engrossed in something they may forget to go, so don’t forget they will need reminders!  You may need to set aside some time where you’re not going out and about quite so much and can really focus on the potty training; staying closer to home and not far from a toilet/potty for a few days will help in the long run.

Good luck!

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