Toilet training is an exciting, and sometimes messy, rite of passage in childhood.
Unlike the old days of soggy cloth nappies, there is actually no need to rush the proceedings. You, and your child will know when the time is right for toilet training. And that time is different for every child.
To switch successfully from nappies to underpants, your child needs to learn a heap of skills, from recognising the early signs that they need a wee so they can make it to the potty on time, to being able to pull to undress and sit still for more than a few seconds.
If your child is showing the signs that they're ready to get going on the toilet training journey, there are a few things you'll need to have on hand to make that journey as smooth a transition as possible.
Checklist: What you’ll need for toilet training at home
- A potty or toilet training seat – you can see our top ten recommendations HERE. Remember, this is only a temporary item and will probably only be in use for a couple of months. No need to spend up big.
- A bathroom stool or step. This will help your little one reach both the toilet, and the sink for hand-washing. It also comes in handy for you to sit on for what can sometimes be some serious toilet-time!
- Underpants! This is one of the most exciting parts of toilet training for your child – get them to choose the underpants they want to wear and they'll be keen to get to get them on. You'll need at least 10-15 pairs … there WILL be accidents!
- Speaking of accidents, choosing easy-access items of clothes for your child during this stage will help them get undressed quickly when the time comes. Forget about buttons and zippers. Dresses, skirts, elastic waisted pants will be a huge help. No clothes at all is also a handy option!
- Wipes and disinfectant will help you clean up any near misses.
- Using your phone or a portable timer will allow you to set reminders for both you and your child that it's time to try the potty again. Set it regularly in the beginning, as time goes on, you can space the time out a little more.
- A great sippy cup will motivate you child to keep their fluids up. The more the better in the early days. You'll have accidents, but you'll have more chance of action happening when you try as well.
- Potty training books and apps help to make toilet training time fun and exciting for your little one.
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Checklist: What you’ll need for toilet training away from home
- Spare clothes are essential. Having at least two sets is extremely useful, and an option for yourself if you have room is not a bad idea either. Yep … you might get wet!
- Again, choose clothes that are easy access for your child to quickly undress when the time is right.
- Baby wipes have been handy throughout your parenting journey so far, and will continue to be for some time to come. They're super-useful during toilet training time.
- A waterproof tote or disposable plastic bag will come in handy for keeping wet clothes in after any accidents.
- Don't get rid of your change mat just yet. It's still useful during training time for cleaning up any near misses.
The Golden Rule
Like with all exciting games that you play, the golden rule is the same: you set up the game, but it's up to your child to decide whether they want to play.
Pressuring them will just put them off using the potty.