My Top Tips For Potty Training - Getting Dry During The Day - Becoming Mumsy

She’s only gone and done it!

E, at just two years old, has cracked the potty during the day. E is now dry, with only a nappy at bedtime (for now).

We decided when the lockdown was announced and there was a very clear lack of nappies on the shelves in the supermarkets, and prices online had rocketed, so we would see if E was ready to potty train. It turns out she was, and she’s cracked it. 

I won’t lie though, potty training has been one of the hardest milestones for us to crack so far, and I also know it’s something that a lot of parents dread. I mean how many of us really want our child to wee on the floor?

Anyway, I thought it might be helpful to write a post about some of the things that helped us to help E.

Signs to look out for that your child might be ready to use the potty/toilet:

  • Recognising when their nappy is wet or dirty;
  • They tell you that they’re doing a wee/poo;
  • They might go to hide away to do their business, or have a favourite spot in the house that they usually go;
  • They might tell you in advance that they need to go;
  • They might have dry nappies for longer periods of time.
E had hit several of these stages before we decided that we would actively try. If, once we had started, we had thought that she wasn’t ready, we would have stopped until she was ready to try again.

Things to have before potty training:
  • A potty/toilet insert
  • An easy wipe mat to put underneath (there’s a high likelihood of spillages and this will save your carpets!
  • A reward system (if this is something that you want to do. More on this in a moment).
Become familiar with the potty

With E, we had a potty around her for months before we potty trained. She would often sit on there and play, or would watch tv on the potty. Before bath time, I always encouraged her to use the potty whilst waiting for her bath to run. I’d let her have some nappy free time and see what she did with it. Some days she would just sit on there and laugh before running off, but sometimes she would silently sit and just go!

When we decided it was time, it meant that she was already familiar and happy to use it. 

Pay attention and frequent prompting

Initially, although E was fab at actually going on the potty, it was the frequent prompting that really helped. Asking every so often ‘do you need a wee?’, ‘do you need the potty?’, is an absolute must. It allowed me to be able to remind her that the potty is the place to do her business.

I also found that paying attention to E’s behaviour was really important. There would be times where she would look at me and then pulled a face that said ‘I need the toilet’. Or, she would do a little jiggle dance before we got her to the potty.

Listen to your child

I mean this seems obvious, but when we hit the second week of potty training, things went a bit backwards and suddenly E would not use the potty and didn’t even want to entertain the idea of sitting on it.

We then decided to just try the toilet. We already had an insert seat and she was much happier to sit on there. Had we not picked up on her wanting to do something different, we probably would have just stopped altogether. From the offset, I would have preferred her to use the toilet because it saves us having to almost reteach her how to use the toilet instead of the potty. It also saves on the cleaning up!

So, I can only really stress that paying attention to what your child is happy with is the easiest way to have a good experience with potty training. There’s no good in forcing them to do something if they aren’t comfortable with it.

Consider the idea of having a reward system in place

I know this is a cause for debate, but having a reward system really worked for us.

After we struggled during the second week of training, we decided to try out the idea of a sticker reward chart. I opted for a Peppa Pig one (yes, my child that I said wouldn’t be Peppa obsessed, is now very much obsessed with Peppa). Anyway, having something exciting to do after going to the toilet and Edith being given the option to choose and place her sticker seemed to really click

She loved it. She got so excited to be able to put the sticker on and choose her character and proudly showed off her sticker collection after having dry days!

We would reward a sticker for every toilet trip that she made.

Go at your child’s pace

I know this factors in to listening to your child, but I know lots of people had said that potty training had taken ‘X amount of time’ to master. However, every child is different. Some days might be horrendous and the frustration might be real, but letting your child go at their own pace will make sure they get it right when the time is right for them. 

E took 2 weeks to crack potty training. We started off amazingly, then she struggled a little but then she suddenly just went dry and has been since!

Have underwear ready

When we started using nappy pants with E (7 months old), I had some many questions about why I was using nappy pants at her age when there was obviously no prospect of potty training. It really confused me. Why would I keep  nappy pants on E if I was potty training her? I thought it would be confusing for a child to have a nappy on but be told that they couldn’t wet it, when that was all she knew. 

So, we stocked up on knickers for E and new vests that did not have poppers on. I wanted this to be a new experience for E and for her to have ‘big girl knickers’ instead of any form of nappy. I think it helped stop any confusion by just letting her have underwear. 

Praise your child

E really responds well to praise. She loves having a little clap to herself when something good has happened. She loves the words ‘good girl’ which she frequently says to herself! 

Having a positive reaction to her doing her business on the toilet certainly helped her. Again, I know some people have debates over how much praise is too much, but acknowledging that E did a good thing really helped to reaffirm that she was doing the right thing. 

Naturally, there are going to be accidents with potty training and believe me, E had her fair share. It can be frustrating, but try to keep from showing that frustration and just wipe it up and carry on. 

Pack multiple changes of clothes in your change bag

This might be a given, but when out and about, it’s going to make everyone’s lives easier if you have multiple changes of clothes. You never know when an accident might happen. It might also be worth having a spare change of shoes, because where do the accidents go? Down!

So, those are my top tips for potty training. Do you have any on this list that you think should be?


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