To answer your concerns about potty training your little one, we asked Amanda Jenner to write a guest blog article. Amanda is the UK’s Toddler and ITV’s Toilet Training Expert and she is also a mum of 3.
Signs of Readiness
There is no set age for potty training, but most importantly they must be showing some signs of readiness, because if you start without them being ready this will make your life difficult and prolong the process. Signs of readiness checklist:
- Stopping in their tracks when they are doing a wee or a poo
- Becoming aware of their bodily functions
- Insisting on a nappy change when it has been soiled
- Hiding behind the sofa when they are doing a wee
- Longer periods of drier nappies
- Understand simple instructions and commands
- Being able to communicate
If you feel your little on is showing most of the above signs lets give potty training ago. But I do recommend 1 week before you start educating yourselves and start reading to your little one a potty training story book as this will help them understand what they have to do.
When to Begin
Timing is crucial when potty training so must choose a time when your routine can be implemented with no interruptions.
It’s not a good idea to start:
- If your toddler has been poorly,
- If there is a new baby in the family,
- If you have just moved into a new home
- If your little one has changed nursery settings
- If there are any family problems
It would be better to wait a month or two until things settle down.
I am a great believer in getting your little ones involved from day one, so let them pick their own potty or toilet trainer seat and their big girl/boy pants. This gets your toddler involved and excited from the start. Items I recommend getting you started:
- Potty/ Toilet Trainer Seat- Let your little one choose as they will be the ones using it and need to get excited about using it
- Big Girl/Boy Pants- Let your toddler choose their favourite character pants or colour, make sure you have plenty as accidents can happen.
- Step Stool- A step stool is a good thing to buy at this time as it helps position them correctly on the toilet or potty.
- Hand Wash- Teaching hand wash from a young age is important and encourage them to wash their hands after going to the potty or toilet.
- Choose a good reward system, either a Reward chart and Sticker or Magic box with stars
What to do and what not to do in Potty Training
- Don’t start too early
- Don’t put a time limit on it
- Don’t become cross
- Don’t compare your child to any other, as every child learns at a different pace.
- Do educate your child before starting
- Go from nappies/pullups straight to pant
- Take your potty/trainer seat everywhere you go
- Speak to your childcare setting or whoever looks after your little one
- Get the whole family involved
- Do start anytime of the year as Potty Training is not seasonal
What to do when you begin
When your little one wakes up in the morning take their sleep nappy off put their big girl/boy pants on and get them to help you with this on the daily basis.
Make sure the potty is put in the room where they spend most of their time.
Prompt them every 30 to 45 minutes to sit on the potty/toilet and in the first week you will have to remind them.
When they have successfully done a wee or a poo make sure you reward them with a sticker or a star, I normally recommend 1 reward for a wee and 2 rewards for a poo.
If your little one refuses to sit on the potty, try using a distraction box filled with bubbles, book etc. to keep them interested whilst sat on the potty/toilet.
If an accident happens calmly say ‘oh dear lets, try and get it in the potty/ toilet next time’ try and keep positive and do not get angry at any time.
Make sure your little one drinks lots of fluids as this exercises their bladder and keeps everything moving.
On day 2 if you have a garden or you venture out on your daily exercise, just for a short time for 30 minutes and take their potty with them and also spare clothes as this will really help them to potty train in and out the home.
Keep to a consistence routine for the first week and keeping it positive and fun as this is a huge milestone for a toddler and we need to remember some little ones will take longer than others. Patience is key.
Nighttime can take a little longer, but I do not recommend you do not start this until they are fully potty trained in the day for at least 1 month. If they are waking up in the morning with a dry nappy for more than 1 week then this is a good time to start considering removing the nappy at night.
After week 1 if your little one is having 5/6 accidents a day, I would stop for 2/3 weeks but keep educating them with reading potty training books and then revisit.
Through extensive research and the worldwide success of my multi award-winning invention ‘My Carry Potty’ (the world’s only 100% leak-proof potty for at home and on the go) and my ‘George & Hollie’ illustrated children’s publications, I am now known as The UK’s Toilet Training Expert. Throughout my career I have worked closely with families and the education sector and continue to be in high demand for my expert parenting advice and guidance during key stages of child development including older children with disadvantaged backgrounds.
A regular in international press, on stage, television and radio broadcasts providing my professional expertise, I also attend schools and universities across the UK encouraging and inspiring students to delve into the world of innovation. I am fast becoming well known in the high profiled world of celebrities being called to go into their homes to provide my expertise worldwide.
For more tips and live videos please follow Amanda on Instagram and YouTube
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Also, for Amanda’s book please go to