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Toilet Training Advice by Amanda Jenner

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Getting Started with Toilet Training / Potty Training

As any child development specialist will tell you, toilet training is an enormous milestone in a toddlers life, and it can also be a stressful time for parents too. Timing is absolutely vital, so it's best to choose a time when you can start your toilet training routine with few interruptions. It's not a good idea to start if your toddler has been poorly, or if there is a new baby in the family, or if you've moved house or changing a nursery.  

Dos and Don'ts

Do look for signs that the child is ready to start toilet training.  If the child suddenly stops in his/her tracks and looks all self-conscious, or if the child begins using the words wee or poo, pulling on their nappies and asking to be changed, then it sounds like the child might be ready to start potty training. They may hide when they are doing a poo, as they become conscious of what they are doing. Finally, they will be dry for longer periods of time as their bodies are developing and bladder is becoming stronger.

Do involve the child as much as possible. When you begin potty training, make sure the child is fully involved by taking them to pick their potty and/or toilet training seat. Take them along to also chose their big boy or big girl pants too, as this will help them feel part of the process and make it feel exciting!  If your child has a favourite cartoon character who also happens to feature on a pair of pants, it can be useful to get those pants and encourage the child to keep Peppa/Blaze/Thomas The Tank Engine dry and happy.

Do let everyone know that the child has started potty training. It's important to tell your nursery, child carers or anyone else who looks after your child that you have started toilet training. This helps to keep everything consistent, and avoids set-backs. Don't stop toilet training if they spend a night away at grandparents or friends house as they will become confused.

Don't stop when you are out and about. Teach your toddler from day one that this is normal outside and inside the home. Take your potty and/or training seat with you wherever you go. Remind them that they have it with them as this will help them feel secure and confident. This will also help reduce accidents as often there is little warning when they need to go.

Do give lots of encouragement. Praise and play base learning has been proven to be effective approach for potty training little ones. Use reward charts, stickers, a reward box and a good toilet training story book.

Don't scold or raise your voice. Accidents will happen, remember to keep calm, as scolding your child will result in the fear of toilet training.

Don't compare your child. Every child develops at a different rate, so try not to compare your child to anyone else's.

Myth busters

  • Boys v. girls- is there a difference?

No. There is no difference to approach or methods, the only technique difference is that boys obviously have extra bits and they need to tuck down when they sit on the potty or toilet.

  • Regression can happen.

Once your child has been successfully potty trained and dry for a minimum of 6 weeks, they can still regress. Little ones can have accidents due to life changes, such as moving home, starting a new school or nursery.

  • No season for potty training.

Don't hold off because its cold outside. Start when your child is ready, there is no season for potty training.

  • Your child might be ready, but are you?

A parents willingness to commit to toilet training is just as important as a child being ready. Make sure you are fully ready to complete the journey, a half hearted approach, could see you reverting back to using nappies "just because it's easier". This has disastrous consequences as a child will become confused and this will delay toilet training.

Questions & Answers

“Hi my son is almost 3 and trying to potty train him he won't do a poo in the potty or toilet waits until has a nappy on if we are going out or has done in his pants a couple of times but he is good at asking to go to the toilet if he needs a pee at home but at the child minders he doesn't ask they have to keep on taking him and asking him and he is having accidents is there anything I can do?”

Amanda's answer

Poos are always a challenge and this can take longer to combat than wee's, and is a very common problem when toilet training. It is so important that when he does his poo in his pants you take the pants and the poo and show him where it goes, by emptying into the toilet/potty and keep repeating this. Also a reward box is a great way of further encouragement, by filling the box with goodies and keeping it out of reach, so it has an element of surprise.


“My daughter has lost all interest in potty training. She is 4 in 10 days and has learning delays. She was brilliant with the number 2 and 9/10 used the potty, number 1 hit and miss, we have tried different methods ask her every 15 minutes always says no. putting knickers on under nappy but nope. She goes to school 5 mornings a week and does use it there the odd time, I just need some advice on the best way forward.”

Amanda's answer

I think the best way forward with your daughter is that you invest in some flash cards, this is a great way of teaching a little one with learning delays. Place the cards in the toilet and the pictures will show her what she has to do, this is a very successful way of teaching and letting her learn how to do it herself. Also a good potty training DVD really helps to teach through imagination and play, so they relate to the characters it this really does work.


You can buy the award-winning My Carry Potty on Amazon here

Article By

As a busy mum of three juggling motherhood with her successful business, Amanda is all too familiar of the challenges that parents face as their children grow.  In fact, it was an embarrassing situation whilst potty training her eldest son George (now 20), that originally inspired her inventions. 18 years later, through extensive research and the worldwide success of her multi award winning invention 'My Carry Potty' (the world's only 100% leak-proof potty for at home and on the go) and her 'George & Hollie' illustrated children's publications, she is now known as The UK's Potty & Toilet Training Expert. Throughout her career Amanda has worked closely with families and the education sector and continues to be in high demand for her expert parenting advice and guidance during key stages of child development. A regular in international press, on stage, television and radio broadcasts providing her professional expertise, Amanda is also attends schools and universities across the UK encouraging and inspiring students to delve into the world of innovation. Today, My Carry Potty can be found in homes around the world, allowing families to carry on enjoying life outside the home, throughout the potty training process. Following on from this phenomenal success, the Potty Training Academy, (launched in 2016), is the world's only comprehensive training system created and developed by Amanda. Supporting parents/carers and pre-school facilities, Potty Training Academy is now providing a consistent and fun approach to mastering this milestone event and is being adopted with ease both at home and in hundreds of child care environments across the UK. Amanda is passionate about campaigning to help educate the public & schools about the ever increasing issues of delayed toilet training, and her over-arching mission is to get the government involved. She has recently attended meetings with Ofsted to begin the process of introducing structured toilet training guidelines for nursery & primary schools across the UK and is determined to make a difference to the lives of children through her proven successful potty training techniques. Professional media credits include; Lime Pictures for Channel 4's Too Posh To Parent, BBC's The One Show, ITV Meridian News , ITV This Morning, BBC South Today, BBC Radio 2, Heart FM, Wave 105 FM, Talk FM, Daily Mail, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph Business, The Express, The National, Nursery Today, Prima Baby & Pregnancy, Practical Parenting & Pregnancy, Gurgle, Pink Parenting, Mum Sense, The Business, Dorset Business, Dorset Business Annual Review, Bournemouth Echo, Stroud News and The Rich Times. The Herald (Australia), Huffington Post, The New York Post, The Irish News, The Manchester Evening News, Honours and awards include; The Venus Awards Inspirational Woman of the Year Winner 2016, Prima Baby & Pregnancy Gold Award 2016, National Parenting Product Awards Ireland 2015, Loved By Parents Best Toilet/Potty Training Product 2015, Mumii Best Baby and Toddler Gear Silver Award 2015, Mumii Best Baby and Toddler Gear Consumer Choice 2015, British Invention Best International British Invention Of The Year 2014, BFIIN British Female Innovator Of The Year 2014, BFIIN Special Recognition Award 2014, World Invention Awards Consumer Diamond & Gold Awards 2014, The Cribsie Awards New Arrival 2014, The Baby Show Most Innovative Product Of The Year Award 2013, Practical Parenting & Pregnancy Travel Item Over £20 Silver Award 2012/2013, Nursery Industry Awards Best Innovation Of The Year 2012, Loved By Parents Best Toilet/Potty Training Product 2012, Best Travel Invention 2012, Loved By Parents Fab Woman Of The Year 2012, Dorset Business Woman Of The Year 2012, Bizzie Baby 2010/2011 Bronze Award, Mother & Baby Best Travel Product Silver Award 2010/2011, Dorset Business Awards Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010, Business Woman New Business Award Winner 2010. For interviews and further information about Amanda, please contact [email protected]

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