Tips for Potty Training

Friday, 16 June 2017

This past week we have started potty training. Those two words can strike fear in the hearts of even the strongest of parents, but it needn't be that way!

These are just a few of my tips and things that have worked for Dorothy and me this past week. Hopefully they can those of you who are embarking on the journey of nappy-less little ones :)

(Drawing courtesy of Mikey!)

Make sure they are ready

I know as a parent, you sometimes want your child to reach the next milestone a little bit earlier than other kids, (I'm definitely guilty of it!), but when it comes to potty training, you really can't rush it. If you are pushing your child before they are really ready, there will be a lot of tears of frustration, from both of you!

Look for the signs

There are a few signs that your toddler will display when they are ready for potty training. You may have seen this on the Huggies Pull Up site:

Don't worry if they don't show all the signs at once, but if they're ready, your little one will show three or four of them.

Potty and toilet seats  

You may not think it makes much difference which potty or toilet seat you buy, but I have found that it does!

I thought that buying a normal potty from the supermarket would be fine, but I was wrong! Dot refused to use it and so I let her choose her own. Within reason of course (!), but I let her choose from a couple I was willing to buy. Including her in the process made things a lot easier.
The same happened with the toilet seat. Although sitting on the toilet can be very daunting and scary to a toddler, having a seat that they're happy to sit on makes the world of difference :)

Pull Ups or pants?

The debate between using pull ups and pants has been going on for a while. I have used both, with mixed results. A couple of weeks before I was starting potty training properly, I switched Dot's nappies to pull ups. I thought that it would help her pulling up and down, but she continued to use them as nappies and it didn't go well.

I then made the choice to buy her pants and go 'cold turkey', apart from at bedtime. Like the potty and toilet seat, I took her shopping with me and she chose her own underwear. Dot was so proud to hand them to the lady at the till herself :)

Dot having pants has been a complete change. She has only had two accidents this entire week and I think quite a bit of her success was her having her own pants that she wanted to keep wearing.



It can be so easy to get cross or disappointed when your child has an accident, but don't let yourself. (easier said than done, I know!)

Your little one needs all the encouragement they can get when potty training. It can be scary and difficult when they start out and they desperately want you to proud of them, so praising them even when they had an accident is a key part to them wanting to continue with it.

Have a reward system

You don't have to have a reward system, but I have found that it has really helped Dot. Within a day, she had already grasped that if she did a wee on the potty or toilet, she would earn a sticker. If she had an accident, it didn't matter, we'd try again later.

She was almost desperate to earn a sticker! As the week went on, she was using the potty even for the smallest of tiny wees if it meant that a visit could earn her a choice of smiley faces and ladybirds!


Keep to your routine

I know that when you start potty training, you think that it means you can't go out, but it needn't be that way! We have managed to go out and about and carry on as normal. We've not been locked in the house as I wanted to make it as normal a thing as possible for Dot.

If we need to go out, I make sure that Dot has a 'going out wee' before hand (something my mum taught us and I still have to go before I leave the house!) and then go out making sure that I have her bag with spare clothes just in case. (including socks- people always forget socks!!)

We also carry on playing in the house as normal, but making sure that I ask her every so often (half hour or so) as a reminder in case she's engrossed with her toys.

So there you have it! It's only been a week and it's early days, but I'm so proud of Dorothy. She's done amazingly well!

Hopefully, these tips might also help you if you're embarking on potty training soon :)

Brilliant blog posts on

One Messy Mama

Mudpie Fridays

Accidental Hipster Mum


  1. We had major disagreements over the potty and ended up with several that were refused :( always involve little ones in the choosing of potties and pants

  2. Some great tips here. I think if I were to do the whole potty training thing again (this involves having another baby; which is unlikely) then I'd bring in a reward chart. Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging

    1. Thank you :) having a reward chart has really helped. We're now in our third week and Dot still loves earning the stickers :)

  3. The reward system is genius! I'm bookmarking this to keep in mind the signs when they're ready. My son is a year and a half so it's good to know what's coming next, eeeeek. Good luck with yours! : ) Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging!

  4. Some great advice here! Our 2.5 year old has decided to Potty train herself. I must admit, its been a breeze this time round compared to her siblings :) I guess thats what happens when you are the youngest! Thanks for sharing with us at #globalblogging. Good Luck!

  5. I know it sounds daft but I didn't actually consider whether or not my son was ready until the health visitor told me he probably wasn't. I just felt like I was ready and it should be time! I know, so silly of me! He displays some of the signs but he just isn't interested in using the potty and all of my attempts have resulted in him weeing on my carpet or sofa! This is a great post, thank you for linking up to #RVHT and I hope you'll join us again tomorrow!

    (This is Accidental Hipster Mum, my Google ID is ridic) xx