Learning to use the potty
Learning the transition of using a potty rather than their nappy is huge for toddlers and is rarely plain sailing, but these tips can help
Learning to wee on the potty
During potty training, toddlers are likely to get the hang of weeing on the potty before they feel happy to poo on it as wees are fairly instant and easy to do.
That’s not to say that all little ones are keen to sit on the potty and have a go, they’re likely to need a little encouragement to help them feel comfortable.
Look out for cues that your little one needs a wee, such as wriggling or hopping from one foot to another, and suggest that they try sitting on the potty to see if anything happens.
If they’re a little nervous around the potty, encourage them to take ownership of it by decorating it with stickers and sitting their teddy on it.
When little boys are first learning to wee on the potty, it’s best to get them to sit down to avoid little accidents.
Once they move on to the toilet and are feeling more confident, they can learn to stand and aim. Aiming stickers are a fun way of helping them hit the target and avoid little spills.
Learning to poo on the potty
For most toddlers, learning to poo on the potty presents its own challenges and usually takes longer to master.
For starters, pooing on a potty feels very different from pooing in a nappy. If your little one is used to doing their poos while standing up or on the move, trying to do one on a potty can feel quite strange and uncomfortable.
A hard poo or an unpleasant experience like being splashed by wee or toilet water while pooing can put children off trying again. Strange as it sounds, many children also see their poos as a part of them and feel upset about them being be flushed away.
Help your little one overcome these fears by encouraging them to sit on the potty while wearing pull up pants to poo. Whenever they do a poo, empty the contents of their training pants into the potty or toilet and explain that this is where it's supposed to go before asking them to help you flush it away.
Bit by bit, encourage them to try doing a poo on the potty and give them plenty of praise and reward for their efforts. With time and patience, your toddler will be using the potty for poos as well as wees.
Finally, learn to pick your battles. During the potty training process it's far more important to coerce and encourage your toddler to have a go than to get into a standoff situation. A reward chart with fun stickers can really help persuade a reluctant potty trainer.