Step Step 6

Keep up the great work

Keeping the momentum of potty training going is important. Step 6 is all about supporting and motivating your toddler building their confidence in becoming a big kid!

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There’s more to successful potty training than teaching your little one the difference between wet and dry. It’s also about encouraging and supporting them to build their confidence and gain independence.

You’ve both been working hard to achieve potty training success. Now the key is to keep your toddler motivated, because once the initial excitement of training fades, kids can lose interest and become less interested.

Here’s how to encourage and support your child, so you can continue to build that confidence and independence.

Heather Wittenberg

Child Psychologist and Mum of
four Dr. Heather Wittenberg

3 WETNESS INDICATOR

Wetness Indicator

Huggies® Pull-Ups® wetness indicator fades when wet getting little ones to recognise when wet and encouraging them to stay dry.

Keep them motivated and recognising is a big part of their progress.Additionally, only Pull-Ups® Training Pants have re-sealable Easy-Open Sides which make checking for little accidents even easier.

Here’s how to encourage and support your child, so you can continue to build that confidence and independence.

Feat Praise

Praise

Nothing builds confidence like praise, so to help your toddler feel more comfortable with the new skills their learning and to keep them interested in the task at hand, it’s time to cheer them on! Genuine, low-key, specific praise works best. Don’t just yell out, “Wow! Great job!” Instead, make an observation about the skill your child just demonstrated. “This time, I see you held your wee until you got to the potty. Nice job.” Finding the right balance of praise is also a way to be respectful of your child’s growing sense of mastery and independence. That way, the praise is about his or her actions, and not experienced as parental pressure. Also remember that non-verbal praise -- like smiles and squeezes -- are just as important as the verbal kind.

Feat Goals

Goals

Keep up the motivation and create a sense of achievement by setting goals. This is especially effective if you pair it with a reward. Start small and build up to bigger goals as your child’s confidence and ability grows. For example, you might set a goal with your little one of keeping the Huggies® Pull-Ups® dry for the afternoon, using the fade-when-wet graphics as a tool. As your child progresses, another goal could be to try staying dry for a number of days, the reward for which could be choosing some real underwear. Download the Pull-Ups® progress chart here.

Feat Rewards

Rewards

What about the use of rewards to encourage potty training? Little treats, watching a favourite show together, and phone calls to family to share the good news can all work wonders. Using stickers and charts as a reward can be very effective, too. Kids adore stickers, and earning one to place on a progress chart can be very motivating. Don't forget to download the special Huggies® Pull-Ups® potty training certificate to present to your potty training star.

Articles

Everything you need to know to get through Step 6

At Nursery

At nursery

The challenge of starting at preschool brings with it plenty of changes, not least of which are new surroundings and new routines. In light of this, it’s hardly surprising that some toddlers experience a few setbacks when it comes to potty training.

Accidents can happen because of:

Unfamiliarity

With so much to learn and get used to, pre-schoolers might get a bit flustered when they feel the urge to go. They might become distracted, be unsure about who to ask or feel a bit nervous about using the toilets at nursery. With a little time and practise they will soon adapt to their new setting.

Tiredness

The first few days and weeks of preschool leave kids feeling understandably exhausted - and it's when they're tired that accidents are more likely to happen. Try introducing a new routine that includes visiting the loo before you leave for preschool and as soon as you get home, or even just before you leave preschool if this is convenient.

Holding on

For various reasons, some children simply don’t like using unfamiliar facilities and choose to 'hold on' until they get home, which can result in accidents. Try to understand what it might be about the toilets at nursery that your child doesn’t like and work on building their confidence with help from staff.

Top tips for starting preschool and staying dry:

  • Show your little one the toilet facilities at their preschool and explain how everything works. 
  • Help them understand what to do if they need a wee at nursery.
  • Ensure their teacher understands what stage they are at and what their needs are, making them aware of cues your toddler gives when she needs to go if necessary.
  • If you’re concerned, Huggies® Pull-Ups® will help avoid embarrassing accidents in the early days. 
  • Remember to dress your toddler in clothes that are easy for them to pull up and down - read our What to wear article for more tips.
  • Pack spare clothes and Huggies® Pull-Ups® just in case.

Remember that nursery staff often have a lot of potty training experience and can be a great asset in the transition.

When Travelling

Staying on track when travelling

It’s important to stay consistent when potty training, so when you’re out and about, try to stick to your routine as much as possible. Using Huggies® Pull-Ups® on journeys ensures little ones are protected from accidents, but are still learning while on the move. Although being in a new situation can present a few challenges, you shouldn’t worry about taking your little one on the road. A little preparation goes a long way.

  • Encourage your little one to go to the loo just before you leave home, as this will limit the need to rush to the toilet when you’re half way around the supermarket.
  • Once you arrive at your destination, locate the nearest toilet and let your toddler have a look-see for later.
  • Toddlers are easily distracted by new environments, so remind your child when it’s time to visit the loo.
  • Always pack a change of clothes, Huggies® Pull-Ups® Potty Training Pants, some wipes, and a zip-lock plastic bag for any wet clothing.
  • For longer journeys, bring a potty, travel potty or toddler training seat with you.

With Huggies® Pull-Ups® Potty Training Pants, little accidents away from home don't have to be a big problem. Clean-ups can happen in a flash with your backup supplies, and you’ll be on the move again in no time.

Regression

Regression

Sometimes, potty training can feel like one step forward, one step back. The odd accident every now and again — particularly when your child is ill, engrossed in a game, or in a deep sleep — is nothing to panic about. But if these incidents become more regular, this could mean your child is in a period of regression.

It’s important to note the difference between setbacks and regression. A setback is simply part of the learning process and happens when skills are being mastered, and your child is adjusting physically and emotionally to a new developmental stage. Setbacks happen frequently, and are normal. You can also expect them during exciting times, such as when the family is on holiday. Regressions, on the other hand, happen after a skill has been mastered and stable for some months, but suddenly regresses. This is caused by either stress or physical illness, so it’s important to get this checked out by a doctor.

What triggers regression?

Regression can happen for a variety of reasons, but is often stress-related. A big change to a child’s routine, such as moving house or starting nursery, could trigger this. An unpleasant experience on the toilet, such as a painful poo, could also be a problem. Another common reason is the arrival of a new sibling. Or sometimes, regression can simply be about needing more attention.

Physical problems can trigger regressions, too. A urinary tract infection can make it difficult and painful to control the bladder, which results in accidents. Even constipation or a painful poo can trigger regression. Seek medical advice if you’re at all concerned that your child might have a medical problem, then try again once the condition has cleared up.

Getting back on track

Going back to basics is the best way to overcome a period of regression. With plenty of support and encouragement, revert to your earlier routine of regular potty use and marking progress together on a reward chart. Remind your child to go to the potty and look out for signs that a wee is imminent, so that you can encourage a trip to the loo. If the accidents go on for more than a few days, or if it’s upsetting your child, taking the pressure off for a few weeks while relying on Huggies® Pull-Ups® can help.

Beware of negative reinforcement, as getting lots of attention for accidents may encourage that behaviour. Praise your toddler for returning to good habits, but do your best to make little fuss about accidents. While children prefer positive attention, they’ll take negative attention over none at all. Hang in there! Your patience and support will eventually pay off.

Dealing With Setbacks

Dealing with setbacks

The challenge of starting at preschool brings with it plenty of changes, not least of which are new surroundings and new routines. In light of this, it’s hardly surprising that some toddlers experience a few setbacks when it comes to potty training.

Accidents can happen because of:

Unfamiliarity

With so much to learn and get used to, pre-schoolers might get a bit flustered when they feel the urge to go. They might become distracted, be unsure about who to ask or feel a bit nervous about using the toilets at nursery. With a little time and practise they will soon adapt to their new setting.

Tiredness

The first few days and weeks of preschool leave kids feeling understandably exhausted - and it's when they're tired that accidents are more likely to happen. Try introducing a new routine that includes visiting the loo before you leave for preschool and as soon as you get home, or even just before you leave preschool if this is convenient.

Holding on

For various reasons, some children simply don’t like using unfamiliar facilities and choose to 'hold on' until they get home, which can result in accidents. Try to understand what it might be about the toilets at nursery that your child doesn’t like and work on building their confidence with help from staff.

Top tips for starting preschool and staying dry:

Nursery staff usually have plenty of potty training experience and can be a great help during transitions. Let your child know that potty training is a team process! Stay in close contact with your child’s teachers to ensure you’re all on the same page. If your child is starting a new school, help avoid potty worries by following these tips:

  • Tour the toilet facilities at the new school with your child, and explain how everything works. 
  • Help your child understand what to do if he or she needs to go during the school day. 
  • Communicate steps forward (as well as regressions) both at school and at home. 
  • Dress your child in clothes that are easy to pull up and down. Read our Dressing for Success article for more tips.
  • Pack spare clothes and Huggies® Pull-Ups® so that accidents can be handled smoothly.
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Tools & Activities

Tools and Activities to help you complete Step 6

Certificates

Reward your little one’s major potty training milestones with these certificates.

Download Boys' Certificate   Download Girls' Certificate  
Tools Certificates