Daytime Toilet Training Tips

Timing can be everything, when should you start toilet training? 

For day time training around 2 years for girls, boys are quite often later. Remember – every child is different. Pick a time when you can stay closer to home for a few days. Ask someone else to pick up older kids from school, go to the supermarket at night after your partner is home etc. You need a few days clear of distractions if possible.

You know your child best, are they ready to start toilet training?

  • Can they pull their own pants up and down
  •  Are they staying dry for at least 2 hours at a time
  •  Do they show signs of being ready?
  • Can they follow simple instructions?
  • Is the time right for you and your family? 
  • There will be accidents and extra washing. 

Encouragement is so important for successful toilet training

Keep it simple and reward effort rather than result. Make it consistent and affordable. Stickers work well. 

Celebrate the small stuff. Make toilet training fun.

Toddlers love praise (don’t we all). Make sure you celebrate even the small successes. Do the “potty dance” which means everyone in the house claps and dances around. Ring Dad, Nana, Aunties to say what your big girl has just done in the potty.

Be assertive and regular with toilet training reminders. 

Remind your child every half hour to an hour. Don’t ask if they need to go, most children, boys especially, will not want to stop what they are. 

Get the right tools for the job.

A great transition between nappies and undies to give you some peace of mind. They won’t hold a full wee like a nappy, but will give your child some extra time to get to the toilet. 

Be prepared for all eventualities. 

It’s always handy to take a waterproof bag, some wipes and a change of undies/pants when you go out. Being prepared makes those wee accidents easier to deal with.

Overcome resistance to poos on the potty. 

It’s more common than you think – wees are fine but your child just won’t do a poo on the potty. 

Comparisons with other toilet trainees are not always helpful.

Don’t buy into competing about your child being dry with others. It is nothing to do with your skills as a parent or your child’s IQ. It happens when it happens. There will always be the child who has never had an accident – but the majority of us have to go through the accidents, extra washing and always knowing where the public loos are. 

Be clear and consistent with your language around toilet training.

Avoid confusion and talk to your partner, parents, whoever will be around your child and agree on the same terminology before you start. It doesn’t matter what words you use (willy, penis etc) as long as you all use the same ones. 

Make toilet training comfortable.

If you are going straight to a toilet and not using a potty, a stool is a great idea to make it easier to get up on the toilet plus it gives their feet something to bear down on whilst doing a poo. A toilet seat insert can help take away the fear of falling in. 

Help your child 'own' the toilet training experience.

Talk to your child about what happens when they do a wee or a poo. It can be simple, ”when you eat, the food goes down a big slide inside you and comes out much later as a poo”. Explain they are growing up and it’s time to get out of baby nappies, its time for Big Boy undies. Get them to choose new undies or what colour training pants they want. 

Use easy access clothing for toilet training

Dress your child in clothing that is easy to pull up and down. Now isn’t the time for cool jeans with a belt. 

Switch on your toilet radar when out and about. 

When you are out and about, show your child where the toilet is. It may be obvious to you – but they haven’t been to the toilet there before.  Also know where the closest public toilets are. 

Be one step ahead of your child when toilet training. 

Would your child rather have an accident than make an effort to go to the toilet? Sometimes your child is so engrossed in their play, they would rather have wet pants than stop what they are doing to go to the toilet. If this is happening a lot, you need to make the clean-up and change of clothes more hassle/time consuming than if they had just stopped when needed. So involve them in the clean-up, take your time and make it boring. Then they will realise its faster to go when needed than wait till it’s too late.

Press pause… when toilet training isn’t working. 

If you are getting stressed, then maybe take a break and go back to nappies for a few days, even weeks. If anyone asks how you are getting on (because people always ask) just say “it didn’t work, he’s not ready”. Then try again. There is no shame in saying this isn’t working right now and you are doing a restart later. 

Some things take time…

Be prepared to spend time getting the potty training stage sorted. Sometimes a child will just not sit long enough, or slow down enough to go to the toilet. Or your child may take a long time to go.

• Read to them whilst they are on the potty

• Put interesting pictures near the loo

• Sing songs together

• Have a special box of toys for when they are on the toilet ...blowing toys engage the tummy & help with pushing gently. Try supervised play with a paper windmill, bubbles, a horn or kazoo, even a balloon.