Potty training – an exciting step in their amazing development
Potty training can seem like a tricky and potentially messy task when you first start thinking about it. But it’s an exciting stage in their personal development, and can be a surprisingly smooth process. Of course, there will be accidents now and again and some tots take longer to learn than others. Just think though – no more nappies!
Learning to use a potty is a massive step towards your little one becoming more independent! It's a big moment in their social development and self-awareness, and if done at the right time for them it shouldn't be an emotional roller-coaster for child or parent.
Is your toddler ready for potty training?
There’s no right or wrong age for potty or toilet training. It’s more about being physically and emotionally ready to go nappy-free. Here are some developmental signs to look for:
- Good coordination, such as pulling clothes up and down and sitting in the right place for a good aim!
- If your toddler can tell you when they need a poo or a wee, that shows they have a growing awareness of their body.
- Another good sign is an interest in the toilet, and what happens when mummy or daddy sit on it.
- Finally, potty training works best when toddlers are able to follow simple instructions.
Making toilet and potty trips a regular part of your toddler’s routine will help them get used to this new activity in their life. The weekend is usually a good time to start, when work and other commitments are less likely to get in the way – or in the summer when they are outdoors more of the time, in case little accidents happen.
Encourage your toddler to use the potty when they wake up, after breakfast, before and after lunch and snack times, and before they go to bed. You’ll soon notice them asking for, or going for, extra visits on their own – a good sign that they’re getting more interested and starting to get the hang of it.
Bye bye nappies!
It might seem like a scary leap, but when you start potty or toilet training, you should stop using nappies during the day. If you rely on them from time to time, your toddler can get a little confused and the whole process can take longer.
If your toddler is looked after by someone else during the day, you’ll need to get them on board with potty training too. Make sure they are happy to stick to your ideas and methods for potty training so that your toddler knows what's what. Also, a top tip is to buy some special big boy or big girl pants. It can help them feel like something to be proud of!
How long will it take?
Some children learn how to use the potty almost immediately while others can take weeks or months to get the hang of it. However long your toddler takes, just be ready with a smile and a quick clean-up to get them back on track. They’ll get there in the end.
One more step in their development
Potty training is just one of a number of amazing physical developments your toddler is going through. We’ve got lots of ideas about encouraging your toddler through these exciting changes.
Our helpful development articles include advice about sharing, toddler behaviour, toddler-proofing your home and lots more. And if there’s anything we haven’t covered, you can always give us a call!
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*Weaning is recommended at around 6 months. Please speak with a healthcare professional before introducing solid foods.
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