Guide To Potty Training by a Mum of 5

Last week I started potty training my son Cohen who is 2 and a half year old.

It got me thinking, this is my 5th time potty training maybe I should maybe write a guide based on my experiences of potty training to help other parents.

Potty Training Child Sat On Potty

It can be a mind boggling time for parents. How do you know when is the right time to start? Which potty do I buy? Pants or pull ups?

I am by no means an expert but here’s my guide to potty training.

When Is The Right Time To start potty training?

A lot of parents wonder when is the right time to start potty training.

Every child is different, every child develops at a different rate. Just because your other mummy friends are potty training their children, doesn’t mean your little one is ready to be potty trained.

From a young age I have talked to my children about their nappies content while changing them. Saying things like ‘is it a pee pee or poo poo today?’ ‘What have we done in your nappy?’ ‘Oh it’s a ….’ This gets them to understand the toileting vocabulary. I’ve never made ‘pee’ and ‘poo’ taboo words in our house. They are a part of normal bodily functions. Nothing to be ashamed of.

When your child is in nappies, you may start to notice from their behaviour when they are pooing. They might take themselves off into a corner and hide, others sit or stand and grunt away. I acknowledge what they’re doing, but don’t relate it to any negative or shameful comments. Praise them and let them know it’s time to change their nappy.

One thing I also find that works well is from around the age of 14-18 months, a child starts understand and following simple instructions. I encourage them to go and get their own nappy and wipes. Giving them a purpose and positive interaction in the nappy changing process.

Your child will get to know and understand these bodily functions and routines relating to them. I find at around the age of 2, some children might be before, some after. Please remember all children are different. That children with use single words and start to communicate their bodily functions. I found with my boys they would bring me a nappy or say things like ‘I poo’ or ‘change bum’.

Pees and poos are normal

I also let them know when mummy is going to the toilet to do a pee pee or poo poo. Obviously I don’t let them watch me in the process of my bodily functions. Make your child  aware that we all do it.

Once my child is starting to indicate their bodily functions,I usually bring a potty out. I don’t encourage them to use it. I leave it lying around so they can investigate it. Look at it, play with it, put a teddy or doll on it, sit on it. 9 times out of 10 it becomes a hat. There is no need to go and buy an expensive potty that sings, flushes or holds a tablet. These are just gimmicks to draw you in. A box standard, plain potty from a supermarket will do. It’s personal preference, as you know your child best.

If you feel the need to decorate the potty buy stickers of your little ones choice and let them help decorate it. Make it their own.

Try reading some of the potty training books out their written for both parents and children. Invest in them if you think it might help you or your child in your potty training journey.

When your child is indicating and communicating with you about their pees and poos with you for a month or so, I’d say it’s time to start training.

Be Patient, potty training isn’t going to happen over night.

Be consistent. Keep trying. It will happen.

There will be accidents of both pee and poo. Try not to get upset or show your child that you are upset if an accident does happen. Simply sit your child on their potty and say ‘where do we do pee pees and poo poos? On the…’ then I get them to finish off the sentence by saying ‘potty’ together.

Make sure you have enough cleaning products in to clean up accidents in your home and on your little ones clothes. Your washing pile will grow ever so slightly.

I would advise against potty training at busy times such as Christmas, Birthdays etc. Find time when you can focus solely on potty training. When your child has your full time and attention.

Allow your child to run around ‘rudey’, so they can easily access the potty without the worry of pulling down their trousers or tights.

Celebrate every little piddle or poop in the potty. Let your child now they have done an amazing thing! Reward how you thing is best for your child. A high five, a treat, a sticker. Whatever works for you and your little one.

Pull ups or pants? This is a personal preference, but I personally think potty training pull ups slow down any potty training progress. With my boys I found that they used them as a nappy. I took my boys to the shop and let them choose their big boys pants.

When to introduce the ‘big’ toilet? I usually start by moving the potty closer the bathroom, then into the bathroom. Slowly take the transition into encouraging your child to just sit on the toilet and then using the toilet. You may need to purchase a step and additional toilet seat so their little botts don’t fall in.

Lastly, enjoy your potty training journey. It could last weeks, it could last months. Before you know it your child will be using the toilet independently.

Claire xx

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45 thoughts on “Guide To Potty Training by a Mum of 5

  1. Bex says:

    This was such a great and helpful post. Definitely a favourite and I will be looking back at this when I think my 2 and a half year old is ready. I must admit I’m quite clueless and scared when I think of the idea of potty training! Thank you for sharing your journey and tips 🙂 made me feel a little better about it x

  2. Jade says:

    This is such a helpful post!! I don’t have kids but I remember me and my mum trying to potty train my little brother! It’s handy to see your experience of it too x

  3. Lily says:

    I personally don’t have kids, but this post can be very useful to anyone that does! I’m sure any mum would be thankful to hear your experience and take on any advice you have in regards to potty training. If only these tips worked on puppies, then I’d be begging you for more hints and tips to help Crowley from pooping on the floor! :’)

  4. Kristy says:

    I don’t have children yet but these all sound like some great trips that will be incredibly useful in the future. A great post.

    Kristy |

  5. Helene says:

    Awww! I don’t have kids, so I wouldn’t know, but this looks like a really helpful guide for potty training:) I don’t even remember how my mum did it! I’m sure she had a hard time though, haha! Thanks so much for sharing:)

  6. Becca Talbot says:

    Potty training isn’t something I’ve ever had to go through – but these all sound like really useful tips for parents that are planning to or already going through potty training x

  7. Jenni says:

    A great post 🙂 I have also found the Pirate Pete’s Potty and Princess Polly’s Potty books are nice to read to children when they are showing signs of interest. I think it’s important to show children that potty training is normal and talking about it is ok. I also agree it’s best not to potty train during stressful times such as birthdays, Christmas, moving house, new sibling etc as it would be just too stressful for everyone involved!

  8. Shell says:

    These are wonderful potty training tips for mamas of littles!! It can be a difficult and exhausting task and we can all use all the help we can get 🙂

  9. Twicemicrowaved tea says:

    This is a really helpful post. We are potty training at the moment, and I agree that consistency is really important. I also agree with your comments on pull ups. My little girl definitely knows that if she has a wee in a pull up, there won’t be any great inconvenience to her. I still use them when we go out, just in case, but always change her back into her ‘big girl pants’ when we get home. #bloggerclubuk

  10. Dilraz says:

    My son is 1.6years now so this topic is slowly getting real. So i am really glad to have read this and also happy that i ve been doing some of it without thinking much about it – talking about pee n poo, letting him wipe, letting him know when i go etc.
    Thank u!

  11. Emily says:

    With five little guys you must be a potty-training pro! My sister has a three year old that is working on potty training. I think her biggest challenge with him is that he’s so stubborn! Did you have that trouble with any of your boys?

  12. jhilmil says:

    Wow, you seem to have tremendous experience. Potty training is actually a very tedious task. I started when my kid was 2 and it took nearly 2-3 months. I’m so happy to read all of this.

  13. Jenni says:

    My little man is 2 and a half and occasionally he will ask to go for a wee but he doesn’t do one and doesn’t tell us that he needs one when he does do one in his nappy. When he’s finished he will get wipes and a nappy and let me know though so I think I am going to wait a little longer and keep the potty around incase he decides to ask

  14. Vicky Kinmond says:

    This is such perfect timing, as we are just starting off on our journey! At the moment we are able to stand with one foot in the potty and let it trickle down our leg. All progress I suppose! fab post. Thanks for linking up with #TacticalTuesdays!

  15. Peachy and her Mommy says:

    Great post. Peachy will be 2 in December and we haven’t started potty training yet but I have been thinking abou it. I don’t think she’s quite ready yet but I have been noticing some subtle changes that might be the sign that the time is slowly approaching. Thanks for joining #Blogstravaganza. Hope to see you again.

  16. Lynette Howat says:

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