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Potty and Toilet Training

Preparing for potty training

You don’t have to dive into potty training from scratch: introducing it as a new skill to look forward to helps your child prepare for and feel relaxed about it.

Introduce the potty: leave it where they can see it, and explain what it’s for – or get them involved 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.

Talk about wee and poo! Tell them when their nappy is wet or dry, or talk about their wee and poo.

Change nappies in the bathroom so your child associates the room with doing a wee or poo. Involve them with activities like flushing the toilet or washing their hands after a nappy change.

Practice potty time. Reading picture books together about potty training can be a fun way to introduce the idea. If you have an older child, seeing them use the potty can be really helpful for your little one – or you could take turns sitting their toys on the potty.

Leave the bathroom door open. Ask family members to leave the door open while they’re using the toilet: children love to copy.

This part of the process is just about making toilet time seem normal and non-threatening, and getting your child to celebrate their successes along the way. Don’t forget to give lots of praise or stickers whenever they flush the toilet, wash their hands or dress themselves after a nappy change.

Want more advice or support?

You can talk via online chat to our family support workers and get advice specific to your situation and your family.

Visit www.actionforchildren.org.uk/talk

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