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  • Writer's pictureMarine Lienard

Potty Training: A milestone in toddler independence

Potty training, often seen as a rite of passage in a toddler's development, can be both exciting and challenging for parents and caregivers. It's a significant step toward independence for your child, but it can also be a source of frustration and anxiety.

A Children's potty

1. Timing is key

Timing is crucial when it comes to potty training. While there's no one-size-fits-all age for potty training, most children show signs of readiness between 18 months and 3 years of age. Look for indicators such as an increased interest in the toilet, the ability to stay dry for longer periods, and the expression of discomfort in soiled diapers. It's essential to be patient and follow your child's cues.

2. Create a potty-friendly environment

Make the bathroom a welcoming and child-friendly space. Invest in a child-sized potty chair or a potty seat reducer for the regular toilet. Decorate the bathroom with colourful and engaging materials like books or posters that can help distract and entertain your child during potty time.

3. Be consistent

Consistency is key in potty training. Establish a routine for bathroom breaks, such as right after meals and before bedtime. Encourage your child to sit on the potty even if they don't feel the urge, as consistency can help reinforce the habit.

4. Use positive reinforcement

Celebrate small victories with positive reinforcement. Offer praise, claps, and even small rewards like stickers or a favorite snack when your child successfully uses the potty. Encouragement can go a long way in motivating them.

5. Avoid pressure and punishment

Avoid pressuring or punishing your child during potty training. It's essential to keep the process positive and stress-free. Accidents will happen, and it's crucial not to scold or shame your child when they occur. Instead, offer support and reassurance.

6. Be prepared for accidents

Accidents are a natural part of potty training. Be prepared with spare clothes, wipes, and cleaning supplies. React calmly and help your child clean up, emphasising that accidents happen to everyone.

7. Teach proper hygiene

Teach your child the importance of proper hygiene, including hand-washing after using the potty. Make hand-washing a fun and engaging activity by using colourful soap and singing a song together.

8. Transition to underwear

Once your child shows consistent success with the potty, it's time to transition from diapers to underwear during waking hours. Let your child choose their underwear with fun prints or characters, which can be motivating.

9. Nighttime training

Nighttime training often takes longer than daytime training. It's common for children to continue wearing diapers or pull-up pants at night until they consistently wake up dry. Limit fluids in the evening, and consider using waterproof mattress protectors.

10. Stay patient and positive

Potty training can be a rollercoaster of successes and setbacks. Stay patient and maintain a positive attitude. Each child progresses at their own pace, and it's essential to respect their individual journey.

11. Seek professional advice if needed

In some cases, potty training may be more challenging due to factors like developmental delays or sensory sensitivities. If you encounter significant difficulties, consider seeking guidance from a paediatrician or a child development specialist.

Potty training is a significant milestone that marks your child's growing independence and self-awareness. Approach it with patience, encouragement, and a positive attitude, and remember that every child is unique. With time, support, and understanding, your child will eventually master this important skill and continue their journey toward greater independence.

Marine, Mother & Founder of St Pancras Recruitment


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