Across our platform of online mum groups, members regularly ask each other for advice and suggestions on a range of topics.
One question that we see every single week, is how do I toilet train my little one?
Ultimately, there is no rush and every child is different so they'll be ready at their own pace, but here are a few tips and experiences shared by other mums:
Make sure YOU are ready
"My biggest tip is make sure the parent/carer is ready. As silly as it may sound, you have to be ready to train before you start. That means staying home for a few days, asking every 10-15 mins to start with, ready to clean up accidents and do extra washing, ready to pack and have spare clothes. Ready to to get in the car and go somewhere and have to stop if need be or go somewhere toilet friendly etc. Ready to not get frustrated at the child if they make a mistake. A lot of it is in the parent."'
"My tip... definitely wait until they are ready. I found if you push to soon to toilet train, you could be "training" for months. Do it when they are ready and they will do it themselves in 3 days and with minimal "accidents"
"With my first one she was not ready until she was 2 and a bit. I waited until she said to me that she wants to sit on the toilet. Then I started to put pull ups on and tell her how fun and easy to wear these nappies then took her for undies shopping, all her choices. Every morning she chose them and put them on by herself and make toilet time more fun. After she done her business we did wee dance and poo dance with everyone in the house. Good luck with toilet training super mums."
"Wait til baby shows signs of being ready! Such as waking from nap dry, trying to take nappy off to wee or poo, showing interest in the potty or toilet o telling you they have been or want to go to toilet."
"I found that because I waited until my daughter was ready, I really didn’t have to do anything. She told us she was ready, we put her in undies. She had a few accidents the first 2 days at childcare but has been perfect ever since. She was about 2.5 years old."
"Don't push or rush them. My son literally went from nappies to dry day and night in two weeks because he wanted to do it. I had his potty out around him from approx 18 months old so he was familiar with it. He did occasional wees here and there when he fancies and then we talked about it and he decided he was ready."
"Buy REALLY exciting pants! And say that the character doesn’t like to get wet..."
"Make sure the child is capable of pulling knickers/jocks and pants etc up and down."
"Take them shopping and let them pick out their new big kids undies, even let then choose the potty. Really get them involved and excited."
"Don't give them too many fluids before naps when they start going to bed in jocks. Keep them home to practice for a couple of days before taking them out."
"Just take the child to the toilet/potty and get them interested first and them the know hows. There may be nothing at all and it'll seem like play - sitting then leaving with nothing, but let it be. They have to be comfortable with the toilet/ potty first."
"We bought a doll that could wee and a potty that cheered for them to play with, which got them used to the change."
"We got him undies with cars and dinosaurs so it was a bit better than boring plain ones."
"Let them be naked from the waist down if weather permits while at home. It makes it easier for them to get to the toilet in time. Encourage them to wee before they go out and try not to leave (if possible) before they do to emphasise weeing before the outing. Remember it’s a developmental process for them that may take time and may create a bit of mess to clean up so try to remain patient and caring throughout. Never scold them for accidents."
"My kid was completely toilet trained at 14 months. All I did was take her to the toilet at the same time everyday for two weeks and not put on her nappy as she was able to verbally express if she was needing poo or wee."
"Just before my boy turned 3, we spent nearly 5 days straight at home in an area that has floor boards only with no pants on just lots of putting on potty and praise. Still had the odd accident few months on, but has made our lives sooo much easier. Short term pain for long term gain! Christmas/New Years is perfect time for it (it’s when I did it last year). Easier for us working mums as I had that week off between Christmas and New Years. All I can say ladies is “just do it!”"
"Once the baby wakes up in the morning make a routine to take a wizz on toilet seat. This routine helps them. Also make some kind of word or sound to make the kiddo need to pee. This needs patience. My girl is 2.5 years old and has completely stopped wearing diaper."
" I started with a slow and steady approach.. I got my toddler to sit on the toilet seat every morning for a couple of weeks and we hyped it by saying you’re a big boy and mommy and daddy don’t use nappies etc."
"Take them every 20-30 mins until they eventually start telling you when they need to go. They get used to the feeling of needing an. Eventually know when to tell you, also don't put nappies back on - just be brave - there will be messes, but going back to nappies or pull-ups confuses them. I only use one for night time and will drop that in a few months as well when they start waking dry 🙂 good luck."
"It is like a light bulb moment where they realise they need to go to the potty or toilet and catch it in time. Leave the potty accessible and in sight, take them every 30 mins and sit them there with a book or distraction, and reward any improvement."'
"Use treats every time they do.a.wee or poo on the loo."
"A sticker or rewards chart is sometimes a good idea, it's a chance for extra excitement and praise and if your little one is struggling a bit it can be that extra bit of encouragement they need."
"It’s a big step. I work as a nanny and have seen many kids anywhere between 2-4 still training. Anxiety may kick in if they know you are upset and make things worse. It will happen"
"I would wait a few months. Trying to train when your child isn’t ready is just stressful for both of you."
"Do not stress. MOST IMPORTANTLY in my opinion is don't compare your child with another of the same age because every child is different. I had one kid who was completely toilet trained by 3. And another who is still wearing night diapers at 4.5. I've learned that when they are ready, they are ready and they will let you know. The more you force it, the more reluctant and delayed it will be."
"My slower one just decided to shed the diaper one day and took straight to the toilet after me getting anxious and having trials after trials and wondering when it's going to happen for months. But the nurse once told me "No child goes to college in diapers, don't worry" and she's right."
"If you are starting to worry, try not to push too hard. At 3, I honestly thought my little boy would never learn to poo on the toilet, so we persisted for a long while until everything fell into place around 4yrs. We still have accidents at night but this is normal. Don't let the early successes of other parents put you under pressure, if it's proving more difficult or slow for your child. And most of all, good luck 😀"
"Go cold turkey. No pull-ups. Toddler will associate the feeling of wet undies and going to the toilet quickly. Buy cheap undies so you can throw out the poopy ones if you're not game to wash them. Potty trained within the week with this method. In car rides, put a pull-up over the underwear. Toddler will still feel the wet, but it'll protect your car seat."
"Do not buy pull ups, undies on, no turning back. Buy cute fun undies. My children were 2 years old. My daughter was easy my son needed chocolate incentives. After a few months they had a few random accidents. I still bring clothes with me for my almost 4 year old son just in case."
"Avoid the potty and go straight to the toilet. Use the kids seats with steps. And when you train do it all at once. Naps in Jocks or knickers."