It helps to remember that you can’t force your child to use a potty. In time he or she will want to use it. The best thing to do is to encourage the behaviour you want. Around 18 to 24 months is a good age to start potty training, but there’s no particular time when success is guaranteed, it all depends on the individual child. It’s probably easier to start in the spring / summer, when washing dries better and there are fewer clothes to take off.
Most children go through 3 stages in developing bladder control. They become aware of having a wet/dirty nappy. They get to know when they are weeing, and may tell you they’re doing it!
They know when they need to wee, and may say so in advance. Potty training is quickest if your child is at the last stage before you start. If you start earlier, be prepared for a lot of accidents as your child learns.
What to do
Leave the potty around where your child can see it and get to know what it’s for. If there are older children around, he or she may see them using it and their example will be a great help.
Let your child see you using the toilet and explain what you’re doing.
If your child regularly opens his or her bowels at the same time each day, take off the nappy and suggest that they try sitting on the potty. If your child is the slightest bit upset by the idea just put the nappy back on and leave it a few weeks before trying again.
As soon as you see that your child knows when they are going to wee, try the same thing. If your child slips up, just mop it up and wait for the next time. It usually takes a while for your child to get the hang of it, and the worst thing you can do is to make your child feel worried.
Your child will be delighted when they succeed and a little praise from you will make it better still, but don’t make a big deal of it.
Take them shopping for big girl / boy pants, this hopefully will make them feel more grown up as they will be wearing pants just like their older siblings or mummy or daddy. When the time’s right your child will want to use the potty.
Problems with Toilet Training
If your child shows no interest in using the potty, don’t worry. In the end, your child will want to be dry themselves. If your child starts to see the whole business as a battle of wills with you it’ll be much harder.
Take the pressure off. This might mean giving up the potty and going back to nappies for a while.
Show your child that you’re pleased and help them to be pleased when he or she uses the potty or toilet or manages to stay dry, even for a short time. Be gentle about accidents. You need to explain that it’s not what’s wanted. But do your best not to show irritation or to nag. Once a child becomes worried, the problem often gets worse.