After working in childcare for 10yrs I have potty trained many toddlers, both boys and girls, and have picked up some tips along the way that I thought I’d share x

Don’t rush potty training you’re toddler

You need to wait until you’re toddler is ready, this isn’t a number or age it’s about you’re child. There is no point attempting to potty train a child that still can’t say the words wee, and poo (or whatever you’re preferred terms are). I tend to start from a young age talking to the child whilst changing they’re nappy saying which it is they’ve done, children them pick up the words and begin to tell you when they have done something in they’re nappy and this is the first sign they are getting ready for potty training, I wouldn’t suggest attempting potty training before 18mth though as a general rule, 2.5-3 seems to be the best time these days but remember they’re ‘s no race, listen to you’re child.

Forget nappies

If you want you’re toddler potty trained you have to step away from the nappies, they don’t see or understand a difference just by showing them a potty, the nappy feels like it’s always felt so they will do what they’ve always done. I recommend a decent toilet training pull up, Huggies do one that is less absorbent so you’re child can actually feel when they’ve done something or failing this move straight into pants………… Which brings me to my next point:

Accidents happen

Be prepared for accidents, potty training doesn’t happen overnight! If you have hard floors them it doesn’t take long to clean up a little puddle, and if you don’t I recommend getting outside as much as possible so any accidents happen they’re . Don’t be cross with you’re child if they have an accident and try you’re hardest to not revert back to nappies (unless you genuinely think the child isn’t ready)

The potty or the toilet is also a big question we hear a lot, I don’t think it matters, I potty trained my daughters using a potty in the living room, my son a plastic urinal upstairs and most childminded children now straight to the toilet, do what feels right for you, experiment and see where you’re child seems more comfortable, and go with that.


It helps to have some routine in you’re child’s life, often even when children are still in nappies with become regular, make a mental note of when you’re child most often has they’re soiled nappies and remember this when moving into pants, get them to try the potty/toilet around this time. I also suggest always asking them to try the toilet after a meal and before leaving the house, everyone at my setting follows this routine, even myself! If you’re at home just you and you’re child I recommend encouraging them to mirror you, so every time you need the loo, you take them along and ask them to try, make it a joint experience that they want to share with you, but don’t push it.

Be proud

Children love to feel they’ve pleased you, tell them they’re clever, that you’re proud of them, that they’re doing a great job, they’re really growing up! Sticker charts are known to work well but more than anything they’ll benefit by knowing that they are making you happy!

New pants

Make a big deal about going out and choosing new pants, pick Peppa pig or Spiderman, something you’re toddler is ready going to like, the more special the new pants feel the less likely they are going to want to have an accident in them

Dry nights

Being dry during the night comes later so again don’t rush this, wait until you’ve got daytime fully dry and you’re confident that you’re toddler has cracked it them move on to nights. My favourite tip for nighttime training is to ‘double bag’ you’re child’s mattress, what this means is layer it up, a waterproof mattress protector, followed by a sheet, followed by a waterproof mattress protector them another sheet, this way if they happen to wet the bed you can normally just whip off the first sheet and protector, throw them in you’re bathtub in you’re half asleep mode and you’re child already has a fresh set on the bed to continue they’re nights sleep, a quick change and wipe of you’re child is much easier than making the entire bed! Just don’t forget to wash those sheets the next morning!

The normal toddler will become night trained between 18 months and 8 years, so please don’t worry if it takes a little time.


P.S. this is the urinal i used when potty training my son, he loved it, and i think the novelty is great! If your not ready to promoting standing up wee’s (as splashing can get messy) then Id highly recommmend this authentic looking potty, the removable bowl makes it easy to clean, the flush feature is exciting for your child to use, and the toilet design make the child feel more grown up and the toilet a less scary place in future.


Thanks for reading, I hope this is of some use, if anyone has any tips of they’re own please add them in the comments

Love Samantha

Your childcarer friend x

One thought on “Potty training tips for toddlers

  1. My son was never a fan of potty when he was a toddler. Would have been helpful if I stumbled across your article back then. Now, I’m expecting a niece and I’ll gladly forward your article to my sis. It’s never to early to prepare for parenting.

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