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Our top tips for potty training…

A lot of our friends are at this stage over the last few months, it seems to be a constant discussion whenever we meet and I know many of you have no doubt read some good books and articles on potty/toilet training and others have taken advice from family and/or friends.  We were talking recently about how potty training almost ‘broke’ Vicki, we decided to put together a few points that we found useful between us.



To remain sane (not an easy task)

To have a toilet trained child

A weekly shop that doesn’t involve nappies


  1. Underwear (the dos and don’ts start here)
    Do – buy a lot of underwear for your little one (think Penneys)
    Don’t – spend a fortune on underwear which might end up in the bin (more on that later)
  2. A potty/toilet seat
    Do – buy a bog standard one that is not huge
    Don’t – spend a fortune on one that sings and dances and looks like a mini toilet as your child will just play with it and never use it (actual story)
  3. A step (you need this)
  4. ‘Special soap’…….basically anything that looks like it’s just for them. Something frog/dinosaur/pink related is normally good
  5. Do – Pick a few days together for example a long weekend/Christmas/Easter when you have time and don’t have to be anywhere.
  6. Do -Stock your fridge/cupboards and plan your next few days to be as near to the house as possible.
  7. Do – Start in the morning and just take it step by step – remember your child is still small and will tire easily so if they start wetting the floor more in the afternoon then be prepared to start again the following day.
  8. Do – have a mop and bucket ready – for obvious reasons. Plus a few plastic bags/nappy sacks for soiled underwear and lots of clothes changes.
  9. Be prepared, whether you have 1 or 10 toilets in your house. Everyone will want to use the same toilet that you are using for potty/toilet training
  10. Try to keep your errands as near to the house as possible. Most kids don’t like change and this is a huge milestone for them. Let them master using their loo at home before you expect them to use a public toilet.
  11. Don’t – start if you are hungover, changing nappies with a hangover is one thing – trying to remove soiled underwear from a squirming toddler is another level.
  12. If it’s a little girl prepare to wear more leggings in the first few days, easier for them to pull up and down themselves rather than negotiating a dress (that falls into the potty) and tights (that never stay up)
  13. 99% of our friends kids and us included had issues with “poo” – don’t panic, it’s very normal and they did all get over it, we don’t have 9 year olds afraid to poo.
  14. Half of our kids had issues with the “big” toilet also which were overcome by a fancy seat or steps up – a bit of hero worship in Ruby’s case when I kept telling her her hero used the big toilet all the time.
  15. Do – Be prepared to bring the potty with you if you go out for the first few weeks, some children take to it easily but for some they’ll only be comfortable with the potty for a while (hence the bog standard small potty is again very handy)
  16. It’s a tough transition for everyone and takes time, don’t be too hard on yourself. Stay positive and calm…and plan your reward to yourself (and your child). S/he gets nice new Paw Patrol or Peppa Pig underwear/new toy, you get a new pair of jeans/perfume/trip to New York…we can dream.
  17. One thing that really worked for me was instead of constantly asking if she needed to wee switching tactic and giving her responsibility “you’ll tell mammy when you need to go to the potty” and reminding her in this way.

Oh and one other side effect of being in the loo so much – you’ll definitely want to retile/paint/redecorate it when they few days are over.

Oh and last of all – wait until they are ready – there is no point in training too early it will just take forever!


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