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Proven Methods for Successful Potty Training: Top Tips for Parents

As with all things, each little one is different when it comes to potty training – some are ready at the age of 2, while others are nearer 3. Dry nights can take a little longer, and normally between 3-4 years they are showing signs of being ready to go without a nappy at night. There is no right or wrong time to potty train, so be guided by their signs of readiness.


How do I know they are ready?


– They can go for increasingly longer periods of time without a wet nappy.

– Asking not to wear a nappy or wanting to wear underwear.

– Telling you they have had a wee or poo and wanting to be changed.

– Showing an interest in the potty or toilet – and I don’t mean putting things down the loo, we have all found a whole toilet roll in the pan!

– They are having regular dirty nappies, at similar times each day.

– Being aware they are going, they may go and hide while having a wee or poo.

Sam’s Top Tips

  • Choose a quiet time, preferably not when you have just had another baby, when they are starting childcare or about to go on holiday – the less distractions for you and them the better. 

  • Have the potty close and maybe set up a suitable area in the lounge or kitchen, if the bathroom is not close by.

  • Have a small box of toys or books near the potty, so they can sit and play.

  • Have a potty both upstairs and downstairs, it would be such a shame for them to miss a wee if your running up or down to get it. 

  • Try a sticker chart for rewarding at the start – even for just sitting on the potty, then progressing to a sticker for a wee or 2 for a poo

  • Give lots of praise and encouragement but not making such a big deal out if it, it’s one of the most natural things we do in life so making it a massive issue is going to cause stress for them and you. 

  • Keep their clothing easy to pull down or with girls lift up!

  • Get them to choose some pants or knickers they like while shopping. 

  • Potty training can be frustrating for them and you, they may sit and try but nothing happens, only to get up and wee on the floor seconds later. 

  • Don’t get cross! This is most important – keep calm and relaxed about the whole process. 

  • Have some bare bottom time. 

  • Watch them, they often get wriggly just before needing a wee. 

  • Using pull ups when going on a car journey or in the buggy, unless you can judge their needing to wee gaps. 

  • Encourage them to try for a wee before going out or after mealtimes. 

  • Be patient, it can take a few weeks and if you’re not making any progress, then press the pause button and try again in a couple of weeks.

  • Don’t keep asking them if they want to go. 

  • Don’t limit their drinks, in fact lots of drinks means needing lots of practice. 

  • It’s not unusual for little ones to take longer to poo on the potty, they may go and hide and you find little deposits behind the sofa! Stay calm and explain that next time to try on the potty. 


Dry nights might take much longer to master, they are often nearer 4 years for dry nights. Watch for signs of a dryer nappy in the morning or them asking not to wear a nappy at bedtime. Get them to wee just before they go to bed. 

You can try lifting them late evening before you go to bed, sitting them on the potty while half asleep to see if they will go, it doesn’t always work though. There will be accidents so having a change of sheets to hand, a waterproof mattress cover and spare night clothes for middle of the night wet beds. If they have tried but just don’t seem ready, then stop and pause for a few weeks before trying again.


Good luck! Sam, aka The Baby Guru

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Toddler Sitting On Potty


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