How NOT to toilet train your toddler

Author: Brea   Date Posted:1 September 2016 

Toilet Training for me has not been the easiest parenting moment. Here is a list of things I have learnt throughout this process.

What not to do when toilet training

Toilet Training.  At some point or another every parent has to endure toilet training their children.  If you are anything like me you would have read books, parenting magazines and spent hours searching the internet to find the quickest and best way to toilet train your toddler.

Toilet training my twins has been a serious rollercoaster ride of successes and failures.  My twins are now 3 and have to be completely toilet trained prior to starting kindy at the start of next year.  We are halfway there with one and only just starting again with the other.

Here are my top tips on How NOT to toilet train your toddler in no particular order.

1.  DO NOT think about starting prior to your child understanding that they are doing a wee or poo in their nappy.

I started the toilet training journey with my youngest twin well and truly a year ago when he started becoming interested in sitting on the potty.  I started making him sit on the potty every hour but after 2 weeks we still had not seen a single wee in the potty.  

If your child is showing signs of being interested in sitting on the toilet/potty for all means let them sit on it but don't force them to sit on it.  Let them choose.  Enforcing the potty hours could potentially make them refuse.

Once your child has learnt the feeling just before or after they have soiled their nappy you should have a much easier and less stressful toilet training journey.  Starting too early might just mean cleaning accidents out of undies and carpet for a longer period of time.

2. DO NOT put your child in undies and jeans when they are toilet training.

Lets get realistic.  When your child is toilet training you will need to watch them like a hawk for signs of impending release.  Get your little toilet training buddy to choose his/her favourite undies and if possible spend home time in this alone.  

I personally do not suggest nude unless you feel like replacing your furniture and carpet.   Luca did the majority of his toilet training through winter so undies only was not a viable option.  He wore jeans on a few occasions and I quickly learnt that jeans are extremely hard to remove when wet.   We stuck to undies and tracksuits (lots of tracksuits) 

3. DO NOT get too worried if your child finally learns to use the toilet and then stops.

Like all new learnt skills there is the potential that your child regresses prior to picking up the skill fulltime.  Sometimes children just seem to get scared by learning something new and they take a little bit of time and encouragement to let it sink in.  Keep praising the great work and help motivate them to continue along their way.

4. DO NOT hold off on fluids

So many people hold off on fluids after a certain time so that their children are dry throughout the night.  Living in a hot climate this is not something that I like to enforce.  I am not a professional in this field but I am certainly not a big fan of this technique.  That does not mean that it doesn't work in your household but I would suggest that you look into the reason children wet during the night before denying liquids.

5. DO NOT go crazy buying the most expensive potty on the market.

Spending $200 on a potty that makes flushing sounds or holds your ipad might sound like a great idea at the time. but as toilet training is a short term thing the awesome potty will spend more time in the backshed stored for the next child then in use.  Your money is better spent on rewards for your child when they successfully use the potty/toilet.

On a side note to this, prior to buying a toilet training device think about what you really will need.  I bought 1 potty and 1 urinal for the twins before they were born.  This slowly increased to another potty and two toilet seats when they started showing interest in toilet training.   The boys were so cluttered in toilet training options that they missed the opportunity to use the device and had accidents which then led to regression.  

What you really truly need for toilet training is a toilet but the below items can make toilet training a little easier.

  • Potty or Toilet training seat (make sure that this is comfortable for your child to sit on - one of the potties I had left them with indentations)
  • Boys - Invest in a Wee Man (these are great for wee wee's like daddy when they are not tall enough to reach over the top)
  • Boys - Once they start standing to wee in the toilet give them a target to shoot for.  Boys will get distracted and this can cause the majority of their wee to make it everywhere but the toilet.  Check out Wee Target Training.
  • Take your child out shopping to choose their special big boy/girl undies then buy 10 packets.  You can never have enough undies. 
  • Heaps of stickers and special treats.  I used a train track they had to fill with stickers and at the end they received a special treat.  They also received 5 mins Ipad usage for a successful wee/poo.

6.  DO NOT close the door to the toilet if possible when you are visiting the throne.

Children learn best from what they see those close to them doing.  When you close the door on them they do not get to see that Mummy and Daddy use the toilet.  Toddlers like to do things that Mummy and Daddy do.  As much as it is a pain that you cannot even use the toilet in piece it does help your little ones.

7. DO NOT think that potty will be used only as a toilet.

You may think that your potty will only be used for toilet training but your child has other ideas. Below are some examples of ways my boys got the most use out of their toilet training items. 

  • Potty is a great stool to reach toys that mummy puts up out of our reach
  • Toddler seat is great to get onto the toilet to flush the button 50 times
  • Urinal is a great water toy to collect the water and tip over the other ones head in the shower

So there you have it.  My complete list of What not to do when toilet training your toddler. Hopefully your little one breezes through this stage without any issues.  If not please feel free to add your "What not to do when toilet training" experiences in the comments.



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