Potty training: tips, tricks & advice

Off the back of our recent potty training success I wanted to dedicate a post to potty training and ways to make it as stress-free and easy as possible.

Every child is different, I’ve mentioned this before and I bang on about it regularly, I also am a huge believer in maternal instinct and how no one knows your child like you do, especially when it comes to learning and doing knew things.

For us, we tried it all.  Bribes, sticker charts, special pants, special potties – you name it, we tried it.  At the end of the day my little man is very strong-willed and stubborn and he was only going to do it when he was ready.

My advice to anyone would be WAIT – wait until they are ready, they will tell you, and lots of praise and encouragement is super important.

I’ve posted many pleas for help on social media regarding potty training over the last year or so, as I’ve been completely clueless – after all, children don’t come with manuals(darn it).

As much as you know your child, sometimes some words of advice from other mums is all you need to pick you up and keep you going, so I asked some blogging friends for their top tips and advice:

“Have wine in the fridge and every time you have to mop up piss go and stroke it”    …Fran from Whinge Whinge Wine

“Be prepared for the constant declarations from your toddler no matter where you are. Emmeline kept saying to me (in a rather loud, shouty voice) “I need a poo! I need a poo! I need a poo!” When we were walking through town a few weeks ago. Lots of giggles around us whilst I kept trying to shush her ”    …Alice from Living with a Jude

“With both of mine I made sure I had a free week, put them in pants and pjs, and hoped for the best. Pjs are light weight and easy to pull up and down. My son sat on his potty for half an hour… nothing. My sister come round he follows her up the stairs and wee’s in every single step and he’s following her.”    …Sarah from Champagne & Petals

“Don’t try and do it before they’re ready, it’ll end in defiant wees!”    …Anna from Me, Annie Bee

“Don’t put yourself or your child under pressure …. you will know when they are ready. It isn’t a competition, despite what other Mums at nursery say. Just remember – your little one won’t still be in nappies when he/she is 10. Just relax.”    …Vikki from Family Travel with Ellie

“If you can, wait until summer. That way they are wearing less clothes and you’re able to dry their wet clothes quicker on the line ☺”    …Laura from Oh So Mummy

“Bribes. Likes a chocolate button or a smarter every time they do a wee in the potty. Really go to town on the congratulations, consider a dance routine.”  …Samantha from Porridge & Parenting

“Don’t worry about what age everyone else does it, do it when your child is ready. Two, three, forty-five, there’s no fun in doing it too early and none of us need extra washing!”    …Laura from Wafflemama

“Stock up on wipes, pants and potties! A potty upstairs and downstairs is a must as they can’t hold it on at first and always tell you at the exact moment they need to go!”    …Victoria from Lylia Rose

“Get them used to the big toilet as soon as possible.. no one likes cleaning poop out of a potty ??”    …Emily from Emily & Indiana

“Be ready to dive like an action film stunt double, in a futile bid to stop your little genius from pouring the contents of the potty everywhere as they ‘helpfully’ try to take it to the toilet for emptying..”    …Donna from The Sleep Thief’s Mummy

“We did bare bum for a week when I knew we didn’t have to leave the house. There were plenty of accidents on the carpet but she eventually cracked it and has been dry day and night for about 4 months now”    …Jenna from And Then There Were Three

“Take the potty everywhere and be prepared for the stares when you get it out in a car park or in the park”    …Lianna from Anklebiters Adventures

“Just try not to stress it. Once I started taking my son’s cues, we seemed to crack it. Another tip, puppy pads to line the car seat and also for the bed when trying to get dry at night. They are awesome and just protect everything!”    …Emma from Me & B make tea

“Make it fun read them a chapter of a story whilst on potty or sing then a song”    …Becky from A Beautiful Space

“Keep the dog away from the potty, he will eat the contents!”    …Leanne from A Slice of my Life Wales

“Don’t introduce a treat if they go, my mother in law did that for when she potty trained my husband and he used to go sit on the potty expecting a chocolate button haha!”    …Sarah from Mummy Cat Notes

“No advice but while we still trying to get the hang of using the toilet for poos, my son pood in his hand and passed it to me saying, ‘what about that, mummy?’ I only turned my back for a second ?”    …Jenny from Mummy Saver Money Maker

“Always make sure you have enough potties in the house – when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go…!”    …Anna from Popitha

“Have a casual conversation about toilets and be sure to mention that the water in the toilet bowl is not there for you to dip and rinse your bottom in when you’re done… ?”    …Jo from Cup of Toast

“Skip the potty and go straight to the toilet, it’s just easier that way. We have a family toilet seat that has a smaller seat in the lid for little bottoms. Try not to stress out about it and don’t feel like your child has to be dry by a certain age, they’re all very different.  My forth daughter once pulled her trousers and knickers down while we were waiting to be served in a shop, she sniffed her knickers and then shouted “it’s ok! It was just a pop!” at the top of her lungs! ???”    …Sheree from Can we skip the teenager bit?

“My son declared he was ready for potty training by taking his nappy off and sitting on his sisters potty. He never wee’d in a nappy again. However, he would still grab a pull-up and come to me to demand I put it on him twice a day, after which he would go off and squat in his ‘poo corner’ to do his poops. This lasted about another year, and then he casually started pooping in the potty too. I think if I’d forced it he could have been a nightmare poop-wise, but I just let him lead the shennanigans. Much less stress than trying to force it x”    …Kate from The Mum Conundrum

“We have a pee bucket. I wasn’t very organised when daycare started the process, and it obviously wouldn’t work for little girls. But hey, he thinks it’s a potty, and when we’re done it can go back in the sandpit. Win win”    …Lisa from Bare Mother

“Be calm. It’s one of the few things your child has control over and if you turn it into a disagreement then they’ll win. Don’t stress because it makes them stressed and if something seems too hard they’ll give up or rebel. Try your best to be chilled and natural about the whole thing. Let them see you wee, let them run about pantless, let them sit and read if they want to. If they really aren’t ready then forget it for 2 months, but once they’ve used the potty on purpose don’t go back to nappies except at night or long journeys. 2 of mine trained in under 3 days before 2 years old and all 5 were clean and dry before 2 1/2 without any excitement at all.”    …Jenny from The Brick Castle

So there you are – do you have any tips or tricks?  I’d love to hear them 🙂



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