10 Tips for potty training success


After using nappies from birth, potty training a toddler can be a daunting task for some parents, as their little one is suddenly faced with a major milestone on the road to bladder and bowel independence. But, mostly, we worry about this step far more than we need to. These ten tricks and tips will help.


  • Potty training is an important phase in your child’s development, but don’t try to rush things.
  • There will be accidents and setbacks but, eventually, she’ll be visiting the bathroom on her own without any help.
  • Patience is the key.

Read: Potty training by example

#1 Get the timing right

Toddlers, like adults, are individuals. Their personalities, habits and attitudes help determine when they are ready to start potty-training. If you think the time is right, but haven’t succeeded after a few weeks, be patient and wait a month or two before trying again. It will happen.

#2 Don’t stress

Children pick up on their parents’ stress very quickly and react accordingly. If you’re anxious, your toddler will think that she has failed and this will only make matters worse for both of you. Quickly dump any frustration or anxiety.

#3 Try using the toilet from the start

The range and styles of manufactured potties have brought a whole new dimension to potty training – but not all for the better. Try sticking to the good old toilet from day one, using a step stool to assist your toddler to climb on and off.

#4 Set an example

Let your child see both you and your partner using the toilet and encourage her to do the same. It won’t be long before she gets the idea.

#5 The naked way

During the initial training, let your little one run around naked to avoid pulling pants or underwear up or  down. Ask her every half hour if she needs the potty and quickly take her to the toilet if she goes to the floor. Once a routine is established, underwear can be used again.

#6 Praise and reward

Toddlers love approval and get excited when they’ve accomplished something new. Give your toddler lots of praise and offer a little reward when she gets it right to keep her motivated.

#7 Dump the nappies

Some moms make the mistake of switching back and forth between nappies and training pants. This can be confusing and should be avoided as it might hamper the training process.

#8 Make a game of it

Learning to use the toilet should be fun! Spend a whole weekend playing a “going to the toilet” game every hour or so.

#9 Learning on the loo

Paging through her favourite book while on the loo can be entertaining and establish a useful habit to draw her back again.

#10 Involve others

Everyone, from grandparents to daycare providers and siblings can come on board to help with your potty-training principles and keep things on track.

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