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Ten top tips for potty training your toddler

Those of you that have already started to read up on potty training your toddler may have found some useful strategies and tips to help you to realistically potty train your toddler. Others will probably have read all different kinds of strategies and techniques that people claim that your toddler will be potty trained over night and it is as easy as that.

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Unfortunately this article and other articles written on this site are written for people who live in the real world and realise that potty training is going to take some hard work and determination from both you and your toddler.

I have pulled together a list of tips and techniques that I have seen being used or heard about. Not all of these will work with your toddler. All toddlers are different and will respond to different things in different ways. It is up to you as the parents to understand what motivates your toddler and what they respond to in order to get the best results.

Top tips for potty training your toddler

  • Number one – make sure your child is ready

Ask yourself the question is your toddler ready for potty training?

No one is ever going to get married in nappies because they are not ready to be potty trained, so don’t worry if your toddler is not showing willingness to begin the potty training process yet.

Remember: Trying to push your toddler into something they are not ready for is setting both you and your toddler up to fail.

  • Number two – Bribery works wonders

Give your toddler a small sweet or a few pence every successful attempt they have. It is a small price to pay and will make the process a lot easier.

Stickers are also a great way for your toddler to show of their success, especially if your other half is at work all day. This means when they come home your toddler can show them all their stickers and have double the praise.

Remember: All the sweets and toys in the world are nothing compared to the praise a loving parent gives their toddler. So make sure you reward your toddler with praise, kisses and cuddles with every attempt they make.

  • Number three - Get naked

Some parents have found that letting their toddler run around naked reminds them that they have to use the potty, so there are fewer accidents.

Once naked potty training has been mastered build the clothes up one layer at a time.

  • Number four – Big underwear

No im not talking Bridget Jones big underwear.

Get your toddler grown up pants to wear. Your toddler will be proud of them (especially if they have your toddlers favourite characters on them).

Remember: Big girls/boys pants make it more obvious to your toddler when they have had an accident, so your toddler will be more aware and less willing to make the same mistake twice.

  • Number five - Getting them going by themselves

Getting your toddler to remember when to go to the toilet can be a difficult process, especially when they just want to play and have fun. So you have two choices. Either you can pull your toddler away every hour to sit on the potty, or you can teach them to become independent.

Why not set a timer for every 30 mins/hour (or how ever often you want your toddler to try going to the toilet)? When the timer beeps your toddler will (after the first few times of being reminded) get up and go by themselves, leaving you to get on with what ever you are doing.

Remember: Not all timers reset themselves, so make sure you keep an eye on it.

  • Number six – ready, aim, fire

Getting boys on target can be a challenge, so why not put a table tennis ball in the toilet (maybe even draw a face on it). Get your boys to aim for the ball and spin it round. It’s a bit of fun for them whilst they are learning (and may even teach dad to aim to).


Learn how to keep your toddlers interested in potty training.
  • Number seven - Little white lies

I know it is not a good thing to lie to your toddler but a little white lie wont hurt.

If you find yourself struggling with your toddler to get them going on the toilet, why not tell your toddler that what ever they flush goes into the ocean and feeds the fishies.

  • Number eight - Patience and stories

Potty training can be a long drawn out process, especially if your toddler is a bit reluctant. When they are on the potty, why not read them a story to take their mind off what they are doing and remove feeling of being under pressure.

  • Number nine - On the road

Travel with a portable potty as you never know when it is going to be needed.

  • Number ten – Bonding

Remember that potty training is going to take time and patience. Make the process fun and enjoyable for you and your toddler. It’s a bonding process after all.