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Potty Training Advice – When is your toddler ready?

4 min read

Is your toddler ready to start potty training?

Potty training is a big deal for little people, and they might be a bit unsure about taking this first step. So, our childcare experts have some helpful advice on how you can start preparing for the toilet training countdown.

Firstly, remember that using a potty is a new skill for your toddler to learn. It’s best to take it slowly and go at your little one’s own pace.

Signs my toddler is ready to potty train

Most parents start thinking about potty training when their toddler is between 2 and 2 and a half, but there’s no perfect time. However, there are a number of signs that your toddler is starting to develop bladder control:

  • They recognise (and don’t like) when they have a wet or soiled nappy
  • They understand when they are having a bowel or bladder movement and will pause what they are doing to let you know
  • Their nappies are dryer and the gaps between wetting is at least an hour
  • They seek a quiet place or fidget when they are having a bowel or bladder movement

National Nursery Manager, Heidi advises: “A top tip for our parents, is to start potty training in the warmer summer season. Parents can find this easier, as there are fewer clothes to change and washed clothes dry more quickly.”

How to start potty training

Once you’re feeling confident that your toddler is ready to start, try potty training when there are no big changes to your family’s routine.

Potty training your toddler can be a milestone that’s as eagerly anticipated and equally dreaded! So, remember that the key is to stay consistent.

Here are our 8 steps for potty training success:

  • Be prepared. Keep a couple of potties where your toddler can access them easily and quickly.
  • Remain positive. Try giving your little one lots of praise-stickers for using the potty correctly.
  • All about timing. Help your toddler sit on the potty after mealtimes, or if your child regularly does a poo at the same time each day, put them on the potty. It’s also a good idea to ask them if they want to use the potty before leaving the house. But remember, don’t force them. 
  • Make it fun. Read books about using the potty or have a book or toys to look at while using it. It’s a new situation for them, so it’s all about making it a safe and fun space. 
  • Accidents happen. It’s completely normal for accidents to happen. Try your best not to make a fuss, this can lead to increased anxiety which will make them not want to sit on the potty again.
  • Night-time nappies. It’s a good idea to wait until your little one is reliably dry in the day before stopping nappies during the night. At a later stage, you can move onto using a waterproof mattress protector.
  • Grown-up toilet. Some children prefer using a ‘grown-up toilet’ to a potty. So they don’t end up falling in, use a clip-on trainer seat.
  • Keep us in the loo…p. Don’t be afraid to ask us for help. Let our nursery team know that you’ve started to potty train, so we can help support you during this time. 

Handling public outings

Potty training doesn’t just take place at home, so it’s important to navigate potty training when you’re out and about with your toddlers. One helpful tip is to carry portable potty seats or disposable liners to provide a familiar and clean place for your child to sit when using public restrooms.

It’s also a good idea to be prepared for potential accidents by packing spare underwear, pants, and wipes in a portable bag. Offering reassurance and support will help your child feel more confident as they navigate potty training outside the comfort of their home.

Night time training

Night-time potty training is a separate aspect of the overall process, and it often takes longer for children to achieve consistent dry nights compared to daytime dryness. It’s important to note that nighttime control is primarily dependent on physical readiness and the development of the child’s bladder capacity, which can vary widely. Encourage parents to wait until their child consistently wakes up with a dry diaper for several consecutive mornings before considering nighttime training.

If you have any questions about your child starting nursery or potty training, our nursery team is always on hand to answer any questions.

If you have any further questions or need assistance, you can reach out to the childcare experts at the nurseries located in Maidstone, Chatham & Walton on Thames.

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