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Our mums’ top potty training tips

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Expert tip


The best time to start potty training is a week fairly free of activity. Starting at the weekend is sensible if you need your partner to take care of other siblings.

Tesco Loves Baby Club mums share their wisdom on getting your toddler out of nappies.

Let them feel in control

We talked about it beforehand, had the potty in the living room and would put dolls, mummy and pets on it to ‘do a wee wee’. Within three days of potty training my son was going to the potty alone.

Leah Jones, mum to Finn and Elke

We let him do things himself. Once he’s finished, he makes a big announcement, empties the potty contents into the toilet, flushes and then uses his step to go and wash his hands.

Katherine Vivian, mum to Joshua and Erin

Be consistent

Make sure everyone uses the same word: my daughter will say ‘No’ if I ask if she needs the toilet, but often says ‘Yes’ if I ask if she needs a wee.

Gemma Hutchins, mum to Daisy

Once you start, stick with it! It’s easy to put a nappy on if you need to pop out, but this can confuse a toddler.

Kirsty Riches, mum to Sofia-Grace

Praise them

After a wee or a poo, there were phone calls to tell everyone all about it! Josh loved the attention and he took to it so easily.

Lilly Waters Johnson, mum to Josh and Ollie 

I found a reward chart was a good way of helping the process along.

Katie Walters, mum to Micah

Be patient

Don’t get stressed, upset or angry with your child when little accidents happen.

Alena Barcalova, mum to Ella

Wait until your child’s ready – we pushed Charlotte into it too early and it took a long time. Her friend was older and he took less than a week!

Nicola Lloyd, mum to Charlotte and Oliver

Obey your instincts

I started sitting my girls on the potty for a few minutes every day as soon as they could sit up. They got great praise if they managed anything! From 18 months I let them run around nappy-free a lot, and both were dry by two.

Lisa Hawkins, mum to Rhiannon and Bethany

I know some people wait until their sons are big enough to stand at a toilet, but I found it easier to sit my son on the potty.

Siobhan Dowers, mum to William, Eilís and Róisín

Top potty training tips

  • It’s easier to potty train in the summer, when you don’t have layers of clothes to deal with.
  • Toddlers often wait until the last minute before telling you they need to go. Ask constantly if they want a wee!
  • Keep the potty visible – one upstairs and one down is a good idea.
  • Reward all attempts – even for asking to go but not managing.

Mums' smart potty training buys