Expert Potty Training Tips for Starting Out

Are you thinking about potty training, but don't know where to start? Here are some of your Frequently Asked Questions on Starting Out answered by potty training expert, Emma Kenny:

There are so many different potty training methods around – which one works best?

Potty training can be confusing when starting out and can sometimes seem like the most complicated thing in the world. Be assured that, while a brand new challenge, potty training can be relatively easy when following some key ideas.

Most important of these is that kids just want to have fun. So remaining calm and patient throughout, using positive re-enforcement and rewards, and ultimately making sure the experience can be enjoyable for them too is vital.

It is good to remember that every child is unique when it comes to potty training, so some may adapt quicker than others. As long as you keep the journey fun for them, a longer process should not be a problem.

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A few friends with kids the same age as mine have started potty training and I'm wondering if I should too. How will I know when my toddler is really ready to begin?

Kids will begin to show signs they're ready to start potty training at varying ages. Just because children of similar age to yours start, do not feel that you need to rush your child into starting their potty training journey.

It is generally best to start thinking about potty training when your child shows 3 or more signs of the '8 Signs of Readiness'. These include; your child staying dry for two hours at a time during the day or is dry after a nap; they are uncomfortable with soiled nappies and want them changed; they show increasing interest in the bathroom; their poos are regular and predictable; they want to wear big kid pants; they can indicate by words, facial expression or body language that they are about to go; they can follow simple verbal directions.

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My little one is showing me lots of signs she's ready to potty train, but seems totally uninterested in the potty. What should I do?

To get your child interested in the potty, it's a great idea to take your child out to choose their own potty, and when they get home, let them decorate the potty themselves with colourful stickers or stick-on characters. This promotes a sense of ownership and lets the child take more control of his/her potty training journey.

Placing the potty in a designated spot, in the living room for example, can also be beneficial as the child won’t have to leave the room to use the toilet.

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My son is three and a half and is still showing no signs of being ready. Is this normal? How can I encourage him to train?

It is still completely normal that your little one has not yet begun to show any signs of readiness. Children begin to show the signs of readiness at different times, and he will get there in the end. Try not to force potty training upon him before he is ready, as this will lead to a negative relationship with the potty and using the toilet.

Use positive reinforcement, such as talking to him about potty training and explaining how exciting and fun potty training can be, and you’ll soon find him wanting to begin.

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After a good start, my toddler seems to be losing interest with potty training and it's becoming a battle of wills! I’m sure he’s ready – how can I keep him focused?

Trying to keep your little one focused can often be the most frustrating part of the potty training journey. To help with this, it’s a good idea to keep rewarding and praising your little one throughout, and piling on the positive reinforcement. Praise and rewards can help kids feel more comfortable with new skills, keep interest high and build confidence.

As well as using the potty successfully, smaller milestones, such as using the correct toilet training words, putting on training pants, wanting to be changed after an accident and learning the feeling (even body language) of when to go to the potty, all deserve a little fanfare.

What you decide to reward your child with is as individual as your child. Don't forget the simple things like hugs and high-fives. Other ideas include Matchbox toys, sticker charts, their favourite meal or watching a certain TV show.

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Is it really worth using Huggies® Pull-Ups® to potty train?

While there are a number of helpful potty training tools, Huggies® Pull-Ups® can be a great aid to accompany the journey. In addition to the grown-up look and pull-up motion which gets your child used to wearing big-kid pants, Huggies® Pull-Ups® feature unique aspects to help educate your child too.

Huggies® Pull-Ups® feature graphics on the front of the pant that will fade when your child is wet so both you and your little one can easily see when they have had a little accident. This helps to teach the child the difference between wet and dry when they have used the toilet, as well as being a handy helper for mum or dad.

Huggies® Pull-Ups® are also slightly less absorbent than regular nappies, so that the child is able to tell when they are wet, yet still maintaining a level of dryness that is not too uncomfortable for them.

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