Six Potty Training Mistakes

The first thing with potty training is when to start. Most toddlers are ready from 20 months onwards. Watch for the signs that they are ready to start potty training. These signs may include taking an interest in the whole process, hiding when they go and if they have started letting you know they need or have done one.

As with many things when it comes to child development, some children will take to it more quickly and some will take a bit longer. You won’t know until you start, but the key thing that I’d like you to remember is that it’s all ok and to be expected. Look for progress not perfection. You are bringing your child from a point of no awareness to needing the toilet, to taking themselves or at least alerting you when they need it.

Here are some hints what not to do to help with the process. Good luck!

1.Taking your child to the toilet too often.

Only take your child to go to the toilet every two hours, more often than this is encouraging them to empty a partially filled bladder or one that is empty. From the age of 2 years most children can stay dry for around 2 hours. So set that timer for 2 hours and watch for the signs that they are ready to wee.

2.Making the child sit on the toilet for way too long.

Your child only needs to sit on the toilet for a maximum of 5 minutes. Making your child sit on the toilet for long periods will become tedious and my even begin to feel like a punishment.
Encouraging them to sit on the potty whilst they watch a screen will distract children from what they are doing and will mean that they are not focusing on their bodies doing a poo or a wee.

3. Asking them “Do you want the toilet?”

Two reasons why this doesn’t work.
*Your child is still learning about what their bodies can do and understanding the sensation of going to the toilet without a nappy.
*You are asking them a question. They don’t want to go to the toilet because they are having fun play.
So, what should you do: Watch for signs that they are ready to go to the toilet. These signs may include dancing on the spot, holding their legs together, and holding themselves.

4. Doing potty training in nappies or pull-ups.

There may be times when it’s not practical to potty train, for example if you’re worried when visiting the homes of family or friends. If you feel very worried about making a mess, put the underpants inside the nappy or pull-up.
A nappy or pull up will instantly take the wee away from their skin so they do not get to feel the wet sensation. By putting underpants inside the pull up or nappy will help their bodies to register what happens when they release a wee or poo.

5. Overreacting to accidents.

Why should you not overreact to accidents.
*Remember its very natural for them to have an accident. They are still learning about this new sensation and the feeling of needing a poo or a wee.
*They can’t hold it for long.
Did you know that showing negative reactions can lead to more accidents? They may feel shame / fear around using the toilet or seek the attention from you.

6. Pushing for poo
This can lead to chronic constipation. What can you do instead?

Give them an alternative
*You could use a nappy or pull-up until they feel ready to go to the potty for a poo.
*Encourage them to do a poo in the bathroom. It can still be in the nappy / pull up but encouraging them to go to the bathroom to release can help to bridge that gap.
Be prepared – make sure you set up the potty / toilet. Ensure that they have a foot support – this helps their knees to be in the right position to enable poo to leave their body more easily.

If you have any questions or would like support with potty training your child, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and book your FREE 15-minute call Or follow me on Instagram for more hints and tips.

Share this post