The Toilet Learning Journey – Setting Your Child Up For Success

More keys for success:

Give them choice and ownership

Would they prefer to use the potty or the toilet? Which undies would they like to wear today?

Keep them in undies rather than hours running around with a naked bottom

Many kids are fine to wee in the potty/toilet when they have been naked for most of the day. But they can get confused when undies go on and start using them it like a nappy.

Help them to relax

If they are having trouble with releasing wees then sing a song or read a story which provides a natural time frame. Avoid giving them technology time such as TV, iPad or smartphone, to make them sit still in the hope that a wee with eventually appear in the potty.

Help them to release their wee muscles

Give them some bubbles to blow, as this can release the wee muscles.

While they are sitting waiting for wees to come out turn the tap on and wash your hands so they hear the sound of running water. Or put a bowl of warm water with some shells or sinking toys in the bottom and get them to reach in and hand you the toys.

Boys sitting down

Reduce the variables and need to aim by encouraging your little boy to wee while sitting down.

Encourage healthy bladder function

Kids who wait too long until they are “busting” aka “doing the wee wee dance” can find it more tricky to release their muscles and fully eliminate their bladder when they do get to the toilet. A healthy guide is for kids to wee every 1 ½ – 2 hours. The time frames in the first week can be a lot shorter than this when they first start wearing undies full time (except for sleep time). But the aim is for regular toilet visits that they initiate within a 2-hour window.

Expect that they will have wee puddles

Having realistic expectations that your child will have a wee or poo accident will help emotionally prepare yourself for what is ahead. Having a clear plan with realistic expectations helps to reduce the fear and anxiety. By setting up beforehand with a great carpet or floor cleaner, a car seat protector (see your car seat manufacturer guidelines) and absorbent underwear; all help to reduce the mess.


For more great ideas about getting started with the toilet learning journey grab a free guide https://looloo.co.nz/pages/free-toilet-training-challenge


Laura Morley is a mum of 3, teacher and a parenting coach who specialises in the behaviour around toileting. She is the author of Potty Talk. Through her business, Looloo she runs workshops and private coaching to empower parents to encourage and motivate their kids to abandon day and night time nappies.

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