11 Top Tips for Potty Training Before Preschool | huggle

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June 23, 2021 5 min read

When it comes to potty training, it’s not always the easiest task in the world. For some children, potty training can be a troublesome time. It’s something that your child is not used to, so it can sometimes be a little daunting. Normalising potty training and turning it into something fun will help ease your child into their new routine.

Potty training doesn’t have to be a scary time for your child, nor does it need to be a stressful time for you. Whether your little one is having a lot of accidents or there are tears when it’s time to the potty, there are many things you can do to make potty training easier for both you and your child.

How long does potty training take?

There is no wrong or right answer. Every child is different. If you start potty training your little one too early, it can take a very long time for them to become potty trained.

Try not to feel pressured if your friend’s children appear to be progressing quicker than yours. Each child is different and will develop at different rates. So be patient and try not to rush your child. It will happen in time! Everyone is different and sometimes it may take longer than expected to get your child potty trained. 

Baby girl sitting on a Baby Bjorn Potty Chair in Powder Pink

Image credit: @queen.1jada

1. Introduce the idea of using a potty

Avoid jumping straight into potty training your child. Trying something new can be unnerving for anyone, let alone a young child. Talk to your little one about them growing up into a big boy or girl, and how they’ll soon be big enough to use the potty. It can help your child adjust to the idea, turning it from something scary into a positive experience.

Whenever you bring up the idea of using a potty, always try to use positive language. If your child knows that it is nothing to worry about, then they are less likely to have problems using the potty.

2. Make sure your child is ready

Take it slow and go at your child’s pace. You can’t force your little one into using the potty. Rushing your child into potty training when they are not ready could make it take longer to train them. There’s no set age that you should start potty training; your child will give you signs when they are ready.

Look out for these signs that your child is ready to start potty training:

    • They know that they have a dirty nappy
    • They realise when they are peeing
    • They fidget or hide somewhere quiet when they need to pee
    • They might tell you that they need to pee
    • There is at least an hour between wet nappies

Some parents will start thinking about potty training their child when they are around 24 months to two and a half years old. However, some children might not be ready until they are 3 years old. If your child isn’t ready, give them time. Most children don’t want to go to preschool in nappies.

Girl sitting on a Baby Bjorn Potty Chair in Deep Blue

3. Let your child choose their potty

Make your child feel included in the process. Let them help choose their potty. Shopping for the potty together will make your little one feel more excited about using their new grown-up potty. It’s also a great opportunity to make one-on-one time with your child, strengthening your bond. Whether you talk about their favourite colours or what character they would like on their potty, spending precious time together is something money can’t buy.

4. Make sure the potty is accessible

Keep the potty somewhere that your child can access at all times. This is important if you don’t want your little one having an accident when trying to find it. Some parents choose to keep the potty in the nursery because it’s convenient for training their child to use it before nap times. Putting the potty in the bathroom will help your child associate that this is where you go to use the potty, like mummy and daddy.

Child using a Prince Lionheart Wee Pod Trainer Squish

Prince Lionheart Wee Pod Trainer Squish

5. Big kids need big kid pants

Encourage your child to feel proud for hitting this milestone by buying them big kid underwear. Bright and colourful underwear that even has their favourite character on can change your child’s perspective. If they love their underwear, they are more likely to use the potty and keep them clean. But, if your little one does have an accident in their favourite pants, reassure them they’ll be good as new after they’ve been washed.

6. Track their progress with a sticker chart

What child doesn’t like stickers? Tracking your child’s progress with a colourful sticker chart will help them see how well they are doing. Turning potty training into something your child can feel good about themselves will help them feel more confident. Your little one is more likely to use the potty if they get encouragement for doing so well. It’s also a good way to make potty training a fun part of growing up.

Little girl sitting on a Baby Bjorn Potty Chair playing with blocks

7. Create a simple potty schedule

Getting your child used to going to the potty at certain times of the day will help them establish a routine. Try beginning with getting them to use the potty after meals and before naps. This will help your little one understand that going to the potty regularly is something they need to get used to.

8. Lead by example

Sometimes children just need to be shown that using the potty is normal. It can be that small bit of reassurance your child needs. Some parents find that taking their child to the bathroom when they use the toilet can help, especially if they are nervous about the potty. Mums might find it easier to train girls, while dads may find it easier to potty train boys. Showing your child that everyone has to ‘go potty’ can ease their anxiety.

Boy sitting on a toilet with a Baby Bjorn Step Stool under his feet

9. Reassurance. Reassurance. Reassurance.

Some children may be afraid to use the potty because they are too afraid to pass bowel movements. It can be very frightening especially if they associate it with a painful experience. Reassure your child that there’s nothing to be afraid of. If that doesn’t work, try to distract them with their favourite book or song.

10. Involve their favourite toys

Before your child starts using the potty, try getting them to show you how their favourite toy used the potty. It gives your child the opportunity to talk to you about anything they may be worried about. Show them that their favourite teddy knows how to use the potty and they may be less afraid to use it themselves.

Little girl sitting next to her potty with a dolly sitting on it

11. Avoid flushing the toilet

Be mindful of flushing the toilet in front of your little one. Some children find the sound of a flushing toilet very scary when they are potty training, as they are suddenly more aware of what’s going on. You don’t want your child to be scared of using the toilet.

Do you have any top tips when it comes to potty training? Share your experiences with us by commenting below or on our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram.


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