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Potty training guide

is your child ready for toilet training? What do you need to get started? Potty training experts give answers to common problems and mums share their experiences...

Published: September 27, 2018 at 11:00 pm

Is it time to start potty training your toddler? The truth is it's not always easy to tell if your child's ready for the potty (and there is no 'right age' as such) but there are some signs and signals they'll give off that might give you a hint it's time to start.


If you think your toddler's showing a fair few of them - we've listed them here - you'll want to get yourself equipped with a few basic necessities to kick potty training off.

And did you know that boys and girls are different when it comes to potty training? Not just anatomically, but in the way they learn and sometimes in how long they take - which brings us to another good question: exactly how many days/weeks/months will it take to potty train your child?


You might as well ask how long a piece of string is: every child is different and there are not set rules or timings. But we've laid out a couple of step by steps based on potty training in a week and, wait for it - potty training in 3 days.

Yes, that sounds super-speedy - but even if you don't stick to the timings, the advice we give in these guides can be followed from top to bottom over any amount of time until your child has got the hang of it.

Of course, it's one thing doing the whole potty training thing when you're at home - but what should you do when you're out and about for those first few times nappy-free? Don't worry - we've got tips and ideas right here for potty training on the go, as well as expert advice on how to handle accidents and setbacks.

Plus - we hear from mums who've been there, done that, got the embarrassing story, and share a few potty training tales which even made the news.

Potty training: everything you need right here...

What age should you start potty training?

First off, we should say there's no set age to start potty training, but our guide on when to start includes some signs to watch out for that might just let you know your toddler's ready.

We know some parents do get started early on potty training, so we've also got tips on starting from birth as well as at 8 months, just in case you're interested.


What do I need to get started with potty training?

There's no need to spend a fortune on potty training stuff: beg and borrow if you can and have friends who have done it already.

But if you can find some budget there are some great buys out there - not just the potty itself, but reward charts and books to encourage your child as well as handy solutions when you're on the go and potty training.

Potty training boys vs girls

Potty training is very different for boys and girls, but not just because of obvious anatomical reasons.

The way boys take in and process information is different from how girls do it, too, all of which means their way of learning how to use the potty isn't quite the same.

How long should potty training take?

Just like the question of what age your child should be when they start potty training, how long they'll take very much depends on the individual child and what's going on at home and in their lives in general.

So while we've set 3-day and week-long limits on these training suggestions, don't worry so much about doing it all within a set time frame, but do use the knowledge here as guidance for what to do each step along the potty training journey, taking as long as your child needs.


Potty training when you’re out of the house

Potty training when you're at home with a potty on-hand is all well and good but you can't exactly stay in the whole time your toddler's learning the ropes.

So what can you do when you're out? And what equipment's available to make things easier?

Potty training at night

It's one thing potty training in the day when you're up and about and errr - awake! But getting your child dry at night is a whole different ball game. For some, it happens at the same time as getting them dry in the day, but for others it can take quite a while longer before the night time nappies are ditched, for lots of different reasons, and that's OK.

Hear from experts on why night time dryness can take its time, and from other parents who have been through the whole bed-wetting phase with their children and have come out the other side - totally dry.

When potty training doesn’t go right

No one tackles potty training without coming across an obstacle or 2 - there are lots of common problems that arise, like your toddler not wanting to use the potty anymore, or being fine at home but having accidents when you're out.

But you're not alone, and so here we've got some expert answers on common issues plus - some classic (and sometimes hilarious) stories from mums who've been through it.

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