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Toddler sitting on a potty

Tesco Baby Club parents share their wisdom on getting your toddler out of nappies.

Let them feel in control

Leah Jones, mum to Finn and Elke: “We talked about it beforehand, had the potty in the living room and would put dolls, mummy and pets on it to ‘do a wee wee’. Within three days of potty training my son was going to the potty alone.”

Katherine Vivian, mum to Joshua and Erin: “We let him do things himself. Once he’s finished, he makes a big announcement, empties the potty contents into the toilet, flushes and then uses his step to go and wash his hands.”

Be consistent

Gemma Hutchins, mum to Daisy: “Make sure everyone uses the same word: my daughter will say ‘No’ if I ask if she needs the toilet, but often says ‘Yes’ if I ask if she needs a wee.”

Kirsty Riches, mum to Sofia-Grace: “Once you start, stick with it! It’s easy to put a nappy on if you need to pop out, but this can confuse a toddler.”

Praise them

Lilly Waters Johnson, mum to Josh and Ollie: “After a wee or a poo, there were phone calls to tell everyone all about it! Josh loved the attention and he took to it so easily.”

Katie Walters, mum to Micah: “I found a reward chart was a good way of helping the process along.”

Be patient

Alena Barcalova, mum to Ella: “Don’t get stressed, upset or angry with your child when little accidents happen.”

Nicola Lloyd, mum to Charlotte and Oliver: “Wait until your child’s ready – we pushed Charlotte into it too early and it took a long time. Her friend was older and he took less than a week!”

Obey your instincts

Lisa Hawkins, mum to Rhiannon and Bethany: “I started sitting my girls on the potty for a few minutes every day as soon as they could sit up. They got great praise if they managed anything! From 18 months I let them run around nappy-free a lot, and both were dry by two.”

Siobhan Dowers, mum to William, Eilís and Róisín: “I know some people wait until their sons are big enough to stand at a toilet, but I found it easier to sit my son on the potty.”

Top potty training tips

  • It’s easier to potty train in the summer, when you don’t have layers of clothes to deal with.
  • Toddlers often wait until the last minute before telling you they need to go. Ask constantly if they want a wee!
  • Keep the potty visible – one upstairs and one down is a good idea.
  • Reward all attempts – even for asking to go but not managing.
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