Potty training: it’s not the most luxurious of tasks, but surprisingly can be very rewarding.

Just make sure you’ve got plenty of wipes, pants and that parenting essential – patience – to hand.

How do you know when to start potty training?

Look out for the vital signs. Your toddler might, for example, let you know their nappy’s full or wet, hide behind the sofa to go or (proudly) announce they’re about to wee.

The key to potty training is routine. So, try to start potty training when you’re not going on a holiday or your child’s about to start nursery.

Get the right equipment ready:

A few simple essentials make life easier:

  • a couple of potties
  • disposable, lined or ‘grown-up’ pants
  • change bag
  • wipes and nappy sacks
  • foldable travel potty
  • mattress protectors
  • a step
  • toilet training seat

Where to begin…

Start with making the potty part of daily life. As well as keeping one in the bathroom, store one in another part of the house so you and your little one are prepared no matter where mother nature calls.

If your toddler makes those faces (you know the ones) before they go, gently lead them over to the potty when that happens. And if there’s a mishap, make sure they understand this isn’t a problem.

Keep the rewards coming

When you have a successful potty session, celebrate! Toddlers love being told what a “clever big boy/girl” they are. Sticker charts can also work really well – plus it’s satisfying for you to see the progress on the wall.

Moving to the next stage

Now the finish line’s finally in sight – and those months of washing potties almost over! Start by getting a trainer seat so that small bottoms feel safe on the toilet. Lots of toddlers like having a step as well, so they can reach the toilet all by themselves. It makes the experience more comfortable for them.

After this, follow the same principles of routine, reminders, reward. It might take a little while, and it may not be easy at times, but by following your child’s lead and trying oh so hard to stay patient, you’ll get there together