It's been on the cards for a while now, but are you wondering exactly how to potty train your toddler? Get potty training off to a flying start with our essential guide:
Look at children's potty books together, use words like 'poo' and 'wee' and tell them about what you are doing when you use the loo. Talk to your little one about how being a big boy or girl means using the potty. Pick a potty or potty seat together and encourage your child to sit on it at bath time and at intervals throughout the day to get her used to it – don’t expect any requests to use it just yet.
While there's no perfect time to start potty training, if possible give yourself a clear window of opportunity when life isn’t too busy and there are no big events or holidays looming on the horizon.
On the first morning, switch from nappies to training pants like Huggies® Pull-Ups® and don’t look back. Encourage your little one to visit the potty at regular intervals throughout the day too, and give her praise for trying (even if they don’t actually do anything).
Rather than asking of her if she needs a wee – she's quite likely to say 'no' – simply say, 'it's time for the potty' and help your child sit on it. It's worth noting that boys usually find it easier to learn to wee while sitting down at first as they need to feel comfortable when sitting to do a poo.
Gently remind your child about their potty to make them think about their physical feelings. There may be certain times of the day when she will need to go, but you shouldn't pressure her to do so. If she has an accident, don’t make a big deal out of it. A simple ‘Oh, you’ve done a wee – let’s get you changed. Next time, you can do it in the potty’ will keep the focus on learning.
Say goodbye to nappies
Help your little one understand the transition by switching from nappies to potty training pants. Huggies® Pull-Ups® have unique fade when wet graphics to teach kids the difference between wet and dry, and can be easily pulled up and down to give them independence and control. Absorbent enough to protect against little accidents and featuring Easy-Open sides for quick checks and changes, Pull-Ups® are decorated with fun boy and girl graphics to look and feel just like real underwear.
And for bed, there's Huggies® Pull-Ups® Night-Time which offer all the benefits of Pull-Ups® with extra absorbency for a good night’s sleep. It's really important to be consistent, so once you've made the switch to Huggies® Pull-Ups® and Huggies® Pull-Ups® Night-Time don't go back to nappies as this can confuse your toddler and even slow down progress.
All in the attitude
Although exciting, potty training can be very frustrating, both for you and your little one. A few tantrums from your toddler are to be expected, but if you feel your temper rising, take a deep breath and count to ten. Be calm and patient as your child will sense your frustration and anxieties. The potty training process should not be a chore but a gradual progression. If you do have concerns, speak to your health visitor for advice.
Consistency is crucial, so start as you mean to continue. Get into a routine that includes your child using the potty just before leaving the house, before a nap and before leaving nursery or playgroup – and give lots of praise for co-operation. Use the potty or toilet even when you’re away from home, pulling the training pants up and down.
Treat Huggies® Pull-Ups® as pants and not as a nappy, both during the day and at night with Huggies® Pull-Ups® Night-Time. Visit the toilet with your child first. Don't be tempted to avoid this step just because you know her clothing will stay dry when she’s in Huggies® Pull-Ups®.
If your child goes to nursery or other child care, be sure to co-ordinate toilet training plans. A consistent approach is important to avoid confusing your child.
Keep her motivated with little rewards, a progress chart with fun stickers and, of course, plenty of hugs and enthusiastic praise to give her a sense of achievement. And when she’s ready, start to introduce some advanced training:
- Lighten up on the reminders and encourage independence by letting her decide when to use the potty or toilet.
- Teach boys to wee at the toilet standing up; use a step or a box to help them reach the right height. Special toilet training balls and stickers (available from high street chemists and online) to put in the toilet can help with aim!
- Remind girls to hold up dresses and skirts so they don’t hang into the toilet or potty.
- Emphasise the importance of careful wiping and hand-washing – although both will need your supervision for a little while yet.
- Move on to normal underwear for your child during the day, but continue with Huggies® Pull-Ups® Night-time pants at night.