Potty training is a big milestone for any little one, and at PreciousLittleOne, we know that parents can sometimes be unsure of when their child is ready to start learning this new skill.
In our Mum’s Q&A blog, we help to answer your most frequently asked baby and pregnancy questions, while offering some friendly advice and helpful tips. In our latest blog post, we offer ways to make potty training as hassle-free as possible, and if you have been wondering when to start potty training, why not read on to pick up some useful tips and advice?
When To Start Potty Training?
Although every child is different and it’s best not to compare your child to others, children are able to control their bowel and bladder when they want to be clean, dry and also when they are physically ready. For example, most babies have stopped doing poos at night by the age of 1, some children might be dry during the day by the age of 2, by the age of 3 the majority of children are dry most days (although the odd accident will still occur), and by age 4 (when they are getting ready to start school) it’s likely that they will be reliably dry during the day. However, staying dry throughout the night is something that usually takes a little longer to learn, although most children will learn this between the ages of 3 and 5.
A lot of parents start considering potty training once their child is aged between 2 and 2 and a half, but there is no set rule. The key thing is to make sure that your child is ready first as otherwise, it will be more difficult to encourage them to use a potty.
Signs your toddler is ready for potty training
Before starting potty training, there are a number of signs to look out for which show that your child is starting to develop their bladder control skills and can go to the toilet on their own:
They know when their nappy is wet or dirty;
They know when they need to pee and recognise the feeling of peeing, and may even say so in advance and tell you that they’re doing it;
There is usually a gap between wetting of at least an hour;
They start to fidget or go somewhere that is quiet or hidden if they need to pee.
It’s important to understand that potty training will usually take less time if your child is at the last stage mentioned above, and that if you start earlier than this, your child may experience lots of accidents as they learn. In addition, you also need to make sure that they can follow your instructions, sit on the potty properly and get up from it when they’re done.
Potty Training Tips
Make sure you go at your child’s pace and be patient with them even if you feel frustrated – this is key to helping them get it right!
A lot of parents find it easier to start potty training in the summer as accidents will mean there are fewer clothes to take off and washed clothes will also dry more quickly too.
Consistency is important, so don’t start potty training if there are currently disruptions or changes to your child’s or your family’s routine.
Get your child used to a potty slowly by gradually introducing them to one. For example, leave one where your child can see it and explain what it is, use their toys to show your child what a potty is for, and even ask them to sit on it for a moment to help them get used to it.
Teach your child about their toilet habits by talking to them about their nappy changes as you do them. Changing their nappy in the bathroom at home is a good idea so that they start to understand that it’s the place where people go to use the toilet.
Make sure you take a potty with you every time you go out, so that your child can understand that they should wee or poo in the potty when they need to go.
Ask other people involved in the care of your child (such as grandparents or childminders) to help with the potty training to maintain a consistent routine.
Leave a potty in your toilet so that sitting on it when they need to go to the toilet becomes an everyday part of your child’s life.
Don’t make a fuss when your child has an accident so that they don’t feel anxious or worried about going to the toilet.
Ensure your child is drinking 6 – 8 drinks of water a day to keep their bladder and bowel healthy and keep an eye on signs of constipation (ideally your child should poo at least four times a week, and it should be soft and easy to pass).
Potty Training Essentials
If you think your little one is ready to start potty training, the good news is that there are some great products available to make the process easier than ever. These potty training pants are suitable for children aged three and above and promote independence with their pull-up style design and waterproof layer, while a potty replicates the look, feel and sound of an adult toilet. Plus, a toilet training seat fits most toilets and is easy for your child to put on and take off the toilet themselves.
We hope that our latest blog has helped to answer your questions and offered some great suggestions for helping to potty train your child. Remember, you can find anything you need for your little one and their potty training in the PreciousLittleOne shop – why not have a browse?