40 Years of Busy Bees

Top Tips for Potty Training

Published: 29/04/2022

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Busy Bees

Making the move from nappies to using the toilet is a big milestone in young children’s lives and can seem like a daunting challenge for many parents.

If you are considering making the transition, it’s important to remember that each child is different and there is no best age to potty train or set time that your child should be out of nappies. Like any other skill, it will take time and practice for your child to learn. 

Jenny Shaw, Busy Bees’ academic lead, shares her top tips for potty training and advice on how to successfully transition to using a potty.

Is Your Child Ready for Potty Training?

One of the most important tips for potty training is not to push your child into using a potty before they are ready. By doing so, you could make them anxious about using it, which will create an overall negative atmosphere and may lead to more resistance. 

Look out for these signs that will tell you that your child could be ready:

  • They can tell you when they have had a poo or a wee
  • They can tell you when they are doing a poo or a wee
  • They go for more than an hour between wetting their nappy
  • They fidget or go quiet when they need to go to the toilet 
  • They show an interest in using a potty or toilet

Advice and Tips For Potty Training Success!

Looking for advice for potty training your little one? We’ve got you! Read our advice and tips to ensure toilet training triumphs! 

1. Talk to your child

Talk to your child about using the toilet while changing their nappy. Talk about what they have done in their nappy and how soon they will be using the toilet. By doing so, you are getting them ready for potty training without forcing it. Why not let your child see themselves using the toilet and talk about what they are doing? Buying a potty early on can help your child get used to having one in the house – they may even want to sit on it long before they are ready for potty training. 

Tip! To help your child get ready, there are many fun stories around the subject of using the toilet, such as ‘I Want My Potty’ by Tony Ross or ‘Pirate Pete’s Potty’ by Andrea Pinnington. 


2. Pick Your Moment

When you feel your child is ready for potty training, choose a time when there is little else going on that may distract or get in the way such as starting nursery or moving house. Try to spend a few days at home so you’re both feeling relaxed, have the potty or toilet to hand, and spare sets of clothes in case of accidents.

Tip! Buy another potty for your child’s favourite cuddly toy. They can then sit on their potty when your child sits on theirs!

child and teddy using a potty

3. Be Prepared

Your child is likely to have lots of accidents in those first few times using a potty, so make sure you have plenty of trousers, socks, and pants at the ready! Choose clothing that is easy for your child to manage themselves such as leggings or jogging bottoms with an elasticated waist. 

Tip! Get your child involved by letting them choose the pants they want to wear each day. This sense of independence can often help create a more exciting and fun experience. 


4. Plan Ahead

If you have a day trip planned or are running errands with the family, it’s a good idea to take a travel potty with you and supplies of spare clothes, wipes, and hand sanitiser. It can be distressing for you and your child if they know they need to go but there aren’t any toilet facilities nearby.

Tip! If your child enjoys singing, share songs and rhymes about going to the toilet. For example, to the tune of ‘Row, row, row your boat’, sing; “wee, wee, wee, on the potty, when you need a wee, then you need to wash your hands, so they’re nice and clean!” 

mum celebrates child using a potty

5. Stay Positive

We understand potty training can be a tricky time but it’s really important to not get cross or upset if your child has an accident. This could lead to them becoming constipated or becoming anxious about using a potty at all. Remember to reassure your child that it doesn’t matter if they have an accident, it’s all about learning!

Tip! Most children love sticker charts, so why not create a potty chart, especially for when your child has been to the toilet! The satisfaction of choosing a sticker will most likely encourage them to use the toilet or potty!


Supporting Your Child’s Journey to Independence

Potty training is a key development in your child’s independence. Here at Busy Bees, we wholeheartedly support your child’s journey to independence. Whatever age your child is ready for potty training, praise and positivity will help make that journey much easier.

Take a look at our Top Five Potty Training Books and for more tips and advice, check out our blog

If you’re an existing Busy Bees parent, don’t forget to check out UP at Busy Bees – Unleashing Potential for more toilet training tips.