Tips and Tricks: potty training

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It’s a milestone when your toddler is ready for potty training, but how do you know when to start and how to start. I have recently started this line of thought, starting with some slow steps until I feel that my gorgeous girl is ready.

I have researched and read many articles, tips and tricks, and it all comes down to planning, consistency and patience. Here are some of the things I have found out if you think your bubba is ready to start potty training.


When you find they are a bit more aware of this toilet thingy, they ask to go onto the toilet, don’t want to wear nappies anymore and it’s a struggle to get them on (we all have that problem on a daily basis anyway I’m sure), they show an interest in toilets when out and about, they are able to pull up their own pants and that they understand the concept of going “wee wee”.

There isn’t a magic age, its more around their awareness and willingness to make that move, you don’t want to pressure them but have it a positive experience to be a “big” girl or boy. Training is very different for boys and girls, I won’t go into the ins and outs, but more around some general tips. Just remember that all bubbas are different and travel at different speeds so your bubba may not be ready when you think they are.


It is important to understand your bubbas routine, roughly when they go to the toilet and be aware how often so then you can plan around that with training and a rough schedule. I know that my girl has a bowel movement right after breakfast, at lunchtime and then early afternoon, she is very regular so that makes it easy for me, although there will be some hit and misses as it’s not down to the minute but the more we are both aware the more success we will have.

Speaking of success, you know they are successfully trained when they can identify the physical urge to use the bathroom, but there will be a few hiccups along the way so be prepared and patient.

It’s good once you have understood your bubbas toilet behaviour and times, to set out a potty routine. Some mums may choose to put their bubs on the toilet every 2 hours, that may work, but also it can be stressful as well for both parties.

In the beginning you can create a simple schedule like the one below, and then let your child run the show as they start to get the hang of it.

  • When they wake up
  • An hour after a big drink
  • Before naps
  • After naps
  • Before meals
  • At bath-time or just before bed
  • If they wake in the middle of the night

Sometimes it can be good to help them along and calm them by reading to them, run the tap for running water or let them touch water.

We started a routine just before bath as I noticed every bath-time without fail she would pee either waiting for the bath to fill (on the mat – that was fun), or as soon as she stepped into the bath, so we started putting her on the potty just before bath, she likes to put her hand in the bath and I ask her if she is doing a wee wee, and if she’s distracted I simply ask her again, and to concentrate. If it doesn’t happen within a couple of minutes, we give up and say – better luck next time. But nine out of ten times she goes and we celebrate with a cheer, and then she gets up and steps into the bath like a “big girl”.

It’s important to have consistency once you make a schedule and plan that into your out and about routine, perhaps take a potty with you in the boot of your car.

Build a consistent training plan to improve their confidence, we all know they love guidelines and knowing what to do, how to do it and where to go which gives them more control over the situation as well. As they progress, give them a bit more space and independence to be able to do it on their own.

Once you start the routine you can gradually phase out nappies, and use nappy pants or no nappies at all. Look at building a reward scheme for after using the toilet, this can be a positive reinforcement to encourage them to use the toilet. You may come across some setbacks, there will be accidents, just be patient as this is how we learn, both mumma and bubba are on this journey together and knowing in the end you will have success (I’m sure they won’t end up being a 30 year old in nappies, mine will probably still want to sleep in my bed and be carried around but I have confidence she will be toilet trained).


Research their toilet behaviour, setup a routine, gradually phase out nappies, praise once completed and look at rewards for positive reinforcement, stay consistent in the routine, be positive if they do have an accident and supportive that they will do better next time to help build their confidence, be consistent and avoid mixed signals by going back to nappies, stick with it. Most importantly be patient and know in the end there will be success.

Good luck and I hope we have helped.

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