Check if you’re ready
In this section we’ll guide you through what cues to look out for and how to best help your little one prepare for this big milestone.
Oh Happy Day! It’s time to ditch the nappies! Or... is it? Children aren’t “one size fits all” creatures, so you need to confirm that your little one is truly ready to begin the process.
Don’t base the decision on something more arbitrary, such as age. That’s because there is no “perfect age.” A small percentage of children will be fully trained before they are 24 months old, while most children make the leap around their third birthday. Another not-so-small percentage of children won’t be trained until after they are 3-and-a-half.
So set aside your expectations, and let your little one lead the way. Families have more success with potty training if they wait until the children are ready. Like most developmental milestones, you can only watch for potty readiness to emerge, Huggies® Pull Ups® have developed the 8 Signs of Readiness to help with this. These are all signals that your child is starting to be physically and emotionally ready to potty train, if your little one is showing 3 or more of these cues then it’s time to begin.
If there are no signs of potty readiness by age 3, check with your child’s GP. There are many medical issues — plus language and other developmental delays — that can slow down potty training, so do touch base with your doctor.
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Click on the links below for everything you need to know to prepare for potty training:
Follow these essential tips to help your little one prepare for potty training:
Maybe you’re getting an earful from your parents about potty training. Mum’s making “suggestions.” Dad is “wondering” why the process is going so slowly. If your parents are putting on the pressure, remember that they potty trained you decades ago. Their memory of how young you were, and how easy the process was, may be a teensy bit rosier than things really were. Perhaps you weren’t actually “completely out of nappies by age 2".
It’s also possible that your parents, in-laws and other loved ones will have strong opinions that run contrary to your own style of parenting. So let’s take a deep breath and gather the facts, so you can calmly tackle any situation with those well-meaning relatives.
Here are the details:
Handy tip: If you find that relatives, or even nosy neighbours, are putting on the pressure, here’s a fool proof way out of a sticky conversation. “Thanks for the advice, but what I’ve learned is there’s simply no sure fire way to potty train a toddler. Different methods work for different children. I’m sure we’ll get there!”
Like many things in life, potty training is about timing. Sometimes, it’s better to wait. While a child can be at the right developmental stage, and Mum and Dad are ready, too – with supplies lined up in the loo – certain times are just better than others. If a child is already dealing with a lot of other “big kid” changes on top of learning to use the potty, training can become more stressful than necessary for the whole family. Remember: Stabilise the family ship FIRST, and then have a go!
Here are the Top 10 Reasons to hold off on potty training:
When are toddlers physically ready?
To begin potty training, your little one should be able to move around independently and pull their Huggies® Pull-Ups® or pants up and down with little or no help. It’s useful if their bowel movements are fairly predictable so that you can choose the best times of day to encourage them to try using the potty. They should also understand what they are feeling when they sense the urge to go so that they can anticipate the need to sit on the potty.
Watch out for behavioural signs like grimacing before a poo or wriggling and hopping from foot to foot when they need to wee. Help them understand that this is their body's way of telling them what is about to happen and that this is when they should sit on the potty.
They need to be able to imitate your behaviour - i.e. go to the toilet, pull down their clothes and sit - and show an interest in using the toilet. Forcing a reluctant toddler to toilet train is only going to create a battle for everyone and may turn the toilet or potty into an object to be feared.
Some children who are showing signs of readiness like to take themselves off to a quiet corner to poo. This shows an awareness of their bodily functions and their ability to anticipate what’s going to happen.
Ultimately, a child needs to be able to understand that people use the toilet when they want to wee or poo and make the connection that this is something they need to learn to do too.
How about communication?
Finally, it’s important for them to be able to express the need to go to the toilet so that you can help them with what to do next. They also need to be able to follow simple instructions such as 'let's go to the potty'.