Toilet training is rarely a smooth process. There will be small steps forwards, giant leaps backwards, good days and bad days.
There are many ways to toilet train a toddler and you’ll have to find what works best for you, your child and your situation.
But there are a few sure things that will help make toilet training easier …
7 tips for toilet training success
1. Recognise the urge
Help your child to recognise when they are doing a poo or pee. You can start to do this before you start toilet training if you can tell that they’re going in their nappy. Ask them “are you going now?”. Once they can recognise when they are going, they can recognise when they need to go – this will help them once they start toilet training.
2. Make sure they’re ready
There’s no point toilet training a child before they’re showing signs they are ready. This will only prolong the process (and remember it can be a very messy and frustrating process – no one wants that to go on for long if it can be helped).
3. Don’t be shy!
Let your child watch when you go to the toilet, if you don’t mind having an audience. This way they can ask questions about what you’re doing if they want to, and hopefully garner an interest in going to toilet “just like mum or dad does”.
4. Appropriate dress
Put them in clothes that are easy to take off and put on. If they’re in a hurry, you don’t want buckles, buttons, or five layers to contend with before they can go. This is why summer is a popular season for toilet training.
5. Timing is key!
Choose the right time. Try not to start toilet training right when there are about to be disruptions in your child’s life and routine – like going on a holiday, starting childcare, moving house, or having a new baby. You need to devote a lot of time to your toddler, so distractions or disruptions could hold back their learning.
6. Take the lead
If you can predict when your child will need to go to the toilet, take them their yourself. Sit them on the toilet, talk to them about why you brought them there, and wait until they’re finishing going. Soon enough, they’ll recognise the time or the signs and take themselves to the toilet.
7. Positive praise
Praise them well. Even if it wasn’t perfect – they didn’t make it in time, or weren’t able to go once they got there – praise them for trying and taking the right steps. We have a range of toilet training reward charts for you to download and print.