How do I prepare my child for potty training?

You don’t have to dive into potty training from scratch. Tackling it in stages helps you and your child get ready and feel relaxed about the process.

Closeup of cute little 12 month old toddler baby girl child sitting on potty with a teddy doing the same next to her

Introduce the potty

  • Leave the potty where your child can see it, and explain what it’s for. You can involve them in picking a potty so they know it’s theirs.
  • See if they’re happy to sit on the potty and try it out for size, perhaps after a nappy change.
  • Read picture books together about potty training.
  • Seeing an older sibling use the potty can be helpful – children love to copy.
  • Practice potty time. Take turns sitting your child’s toys on the potty.

Make it feel natural

  • Talk about wee and poo while changing their nappy. Tell them when their nappy is wet or dry, and talk about what this means.
  • Change nappies in the bathroom so your child associates the room with doing a wee or poo.
  • Involve them with flushing the toilet or washing their hands after a nappy change.
  • Ask family members to leave the door open while they’re using the toilet so your child can see it’s normal.
  • Make it positive. Give lots of praise when they flush the toilet, wash their hands or dress themselves after a nappy change.
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