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How to start toilet training – Day 1

How to start toilet training - the first day of potty trainingSo, you’ve decided to start toilet training your toddler. Now what? How do you actually start?

The first thing you should do is REALLY make sure you’re ready. Is your toddler showing signs they’re ready to toilet train? Are they physically and emotionally ready? If you’ve got your doubts, wait.

Trying to toilet train a child who isn’t ready could prolong the process. It could be a long, messy, frustrating time for everyone involved.

Secondly make sure you’ve picked the best time to toilet train. Clear your schedule so you can stay home for at least a few days. Get help if you need it.

And thirdly, make sure you’ve got everything you need. Have undies ready, the potty or toilet seat set up and plenty of toilet paper and nappy wipes to clear up messes!

Also make sure YOU are ready for the day. Have a shower, make your coffee and take care of anything that might distract you when you should be watching your toddler closely.

Now … how to start toilet training …

How to start toilet training – Day 1

1. Take off their nappy and put on some ‘big girl’ or ‘big boy’ pants

Make a big deal of how proud you are of them. Try keeping them out of nappies from now on in the daytime — in case switching back and forth confuses them and prolongs the process.

You might still want to use nappies for bedtime (and perhaps naptime if you’re worried they might pee in their sleep — although they will probably surprise you). Unless your child is usually dry at night, it may be easier to just focus on day training at first. Night training can come later.

2. Take your child to the toilet/potty and explain what they need to do

Make sure they have the right words ‘pee’, ‘toilet’, ‘poo’ etc and let them know that they need to tell you when they have to go.

3. Watch them for signs that they need to go

Watch your child constantly. Look for the signs they need to go — such as crossing their legs, dancing around, passing wind, going quiet. Also make sure you take them to the toilet at predictable times – after a nap, after lunch etc.

4. If you think they need to go or if they start to go take them to the toilet

Don’t make them sit for too long if nothing happens though. You don’t want them to feel like they’re being punished.

5. Praise, praise, praise

If you get a pee in the toilet on Day 1 then that is certainly something to celebrate. Give them a big hug and tell them how proud you are.

Chances are though that you won’t get many pees in the toilet on the first day. This is the day when your child is learning to identify the need to go, don’t be discouraged. It is all part of the process of learning. You might in be for a few days of this before things start to ‘click’.

Praise when they sit on the toilet or potty, even if nothing happens.

6. If your child has an accident don’t make a big deal out of it

Toilet training should always be positive and the child shouldn’t be punished or made to feel ashamed.

7. You will have to wipe your child’s bottom at first

You’ll also have to wipe girls after they pee (front to back) and remind boys to shake the drops off before putting their pants back on. Wash their hands (and yours!) with soap and water and teach them the correct hand-washing technique.

8. Pat yourself on the back …

… and have an early night because it will be more of the same tomorrow!


Remember that toilet training is a different process for every child. Some might ‘get it’ straight away while others may take a while. Try not to compare your child with others and take comfort in the fact that one day — hopefully soon — they’ll be fully toilet trained!


For more info, great free printable charts, and access to the forum to chat about your experiences, check out our Toilet Training Hub.

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1 Comment so far -
  • DawnKinder says:

    Here i have shared some tips on potty training and this are –
    1.let your child take the lead – never pressure your child if he/she doesn’t want to sit on the toilet
    2. many children are ready by the age of two or two and a half. Some kids aren’t ready until the age of three but remember – you child will get there!
    3.let your child go with you to the bathroom. I really think this put Kayla at ease because she saw that I was doing the same thing that she was
    4.ensure that you work with your care provider during potty training so that a consistent message is communicated to your child
    5.make potty training fun and exciting! let your child pick out the toilet seat or potty, underwear and even pull-up design. Make if fun so that it won’t seem as intimidating
    6.never force your child to sit on the toilet until he goes. That will only increase the pressure and may cause your child to regress or even resent/fear the toilet. ”

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