Choose your timing wisely
It’s best not to start potty training if there has been a change in circumstances. For example, your toddler is unwell, a new baby in the family, a new home, new childcare settings, family problems in the household. Starting too early can lead to failure in potty training, so make sure your little one shows all the signs they are ready before you start. Try not to be influenced by others.
It’s important to let everyone know that you have started
Tell your nursery, child carers or anyone else who looks after your child. Let them know which techniques you’re using e.g. a reward chart or sticker system, as this helps to keep everything consistent and avoid training setbacks. Do not interrupt toilet training if they are spending a night away at grandparents or a friend's house as they will become easily confused.
You can start any time of the year
There is no season for potty training. If your little one shows signs of readiness, it’s best to go with this and not wait for the summer to arrive. If you delay potty training until the summer months, you may find your little one will show no interest, which will make potty training a lot more difficult for you and your little one.
Get the clothes right!
You do not want to spend ages changing your toddler’s clothes, so make sure whatever they are wearing is easy to remove. You can try using training pants. Some toddlers like them, while others think of them as a different type of nappy. Most toddlers are encouraged by having real underwear instead: it makes them feel grown-up.
Get the right potty training kit
Getting the right equipment for potty training is important. A child-sized potty, a carry potty or a special seat to attach to your regular toilet is required. Whichever you choose, make sure your child can sit comfortably.
Let them choose their own potty or toilet trainer seat
Getting your little one involved is essential. After all, it’s them who are going to be using it. It is always helpful to have both a potty and a trainer seat to hand. Try choosing a seat that matches your child's potty colour or design, as this keeps training consistent and will help make the transition to the toilet smoother.
Give lots of encouragement
Praise and play-based learning is proven to be an effective approach for potty training little ones. Use reward charts, stickers, a reward box to fill up with special treats that they will like - and a good toilet training storybook to keep up the momentum.
Make sure you have a good reward system
Every toddler loves to feel special. Using rewards is a great way to encourage your little one to sit on the potty or the toilet. This can be through a reward chart, stickers, or even a magical star box. It is important to reward them, even if they try and do not perform. Sometimes it can be difficult to get them to sit on the potty or the toilet, and this needs a little extra encouragement. Make sure you reward them immediately so they get instant gratification.
Be prepared both inside and outside the home
If you live in a two-storey house, keep a potty upstairs and one downstairs. Teach your toddler from day one that this is normal inside and outside the home. Take your potty and/or training seat with you wherever you go. Remind them that they have it with them as this will help them feel secure and confident. This will help reduce accidents as often there is a little warning when they need to go.
Try not to compare your child to others
Every child develops at a different rate. That goes for eating, walking, talking and all the other milestones - so try not to compare your potty training experience to anyone else. Try to trust the signs your child is showing, and go with it.
Amanda Jenner is a Global Potty Training Expert and author of ‘Potty Training Magic’. For more potty training tips head to: mycarrypotty.com