The time has finally arrived for you and your child to embark on this brand-new journey and you know that you're ready... It can be an overwhelming time, with book knowledge, advice and the internet telling you everything you need to know, except where to begin.
Here are a few simple steps to get you started. But remember, you can adjust these to suit your situation, so be sure to keep an open mind and always take cues from your toddler.
Potty training step-by-step
Make the potty a normal part of everyday life. A potty chair is often recommended rather than a toilet seat adaptor as toddlers can easily and comfortably use a potty chair on their own, that said the toilet seat adaptors can make kids feel like ‘grown ups’ and encourage toilet use. You’ll know your child and what suits them best, you can always progress from one to the other if you find the potty isn’t working optimally. Nevertheless, if you’re starting with a potty chair, place it in the bathroom and have it be a part of your daily lives, refer to it often and make your toddler aware of what it should be used for.
Let your toddler sit on the potty fully clothed. There's no pressure to perform and they simply become comfortable with the process of sitting and standing. The potty becomes a natural place to sit when in the bathroom and this makes the next step simpler.
One of the best ways to get your child used to the concept of using a potty is by placing them on the potty after taking off a soiled diaper. The routine will soon be established that needing to use a diaper means using a potty.
This may be the most time-consuming step. Placing your toddler on the potty at regular intervals increases the chance of your child using the potty naturally while also establishing a routine. Sit your toddler on the potty before and after nap times, after meals, and before bedtime.
Stay positive! Whenever your child shows interest in sitting on the potty or manages to void their bladder successfully, praise them and make a fuss. You could also consider using a reward system such as stickers to help track your little one's progress, but above all else, remember to never focus on the negative.
Top tip: If your child is sitting on a potty or on an adapted toilet seat, always ensure that their feet are properly supported. When a child's feet are supported, they are more comfortable and therefore able to more easily pass stool or void their bladder.