1. Choose your timing wisely. It is best not to start potty training if there has been a change in circumstance for example your toddler is unwell, there is a new baby in the family, you have just moved into a new home, your toddler has started a new childcare setting, there are any family problems in the household. Starting too early can lead to failure in potty training so make sure your little one is showing all the signs they are ready before you start and don’t be influenced by others.
2. It is also important to let everyone know. Tell your nursery, child carers or anyone else who looks after your child that you have started toilet training. Let them know what techniques you are using, for example a reward chart or sticker system, as this helps to keep everything consistent and avoid training set-backs. Don't interrupt stop toilet training if they are spending a night away at grandparents or a friend's house as they will become easily confused.
3. Start any time of the year. There is no season for potty training. This can be done at any time of the year. If your little one is showing signs of readiness you must go with this and not wait for the summer to arrive. If you delay training until the summer you may find your little one will show no interest whatsoever, which will make potty training a lot more difficult for you and your little one.
4. Extra help. You may also want to buy a picture book or video all about potty training that you can look over with your tot. That way, you’ll both be prepared for the training ahead.
5. Get the clothes right. You don’t want to spend ages changing your toddler’s clothes, so make sure what he or she is wearing is easy to remove. You can try using training pants. Some toddlers like them, while others just think of them as a different type of nappy (which is confusing). Most toddlers are encouraged by having real underwear instead: it makes them feel grown up.
6. Get the right equipment. Getting the right equipment for potty training is always a good start. A child-sized potty, a carry potty or a special seat to attach to your regular toilet is a must. Whichever you choose, make sure your child can sit comfortably.
7. Let them choose their own potty/toilet trainer seat. Getting your little one involved is essential after all it is them who are going to be using it. It is always helpful to have both a potty and a trainer seat to hand. Try choosing a seat that matches your child’s potty in colour or design as this keeps training consistent and will help make the transition to the toilet smoother
8. Be prepared in and out the home. If you live in a two-storey house, keep a potty upstairs and one downstairs. Teach your toddler from day one that this is normal inside and outside the home. Take your potty and/or training seat with you wherever you go. Remind them that they have it with them as this will help them feel secure and confident. This will also help reduce accidents as often there is little warning when they need to go.
9. Do give lots of encouragement. Praise and play base learning has been proven to be effective approach for potty training little ones. Use reward charts, stickers, a reward box to fill up with special treats that they like - and a good toilet training story book to keep up the momentum.
10. Don't scold or raise your voice. Accidents will happen, remember to keep calm, as scolding your child will result in the fear of toilet training. This will cause a set-back.
11. Don't compare your child. Every child develops at a different rate, and that goes for eating, walking, talking and all the other milestones - so try not to compare your child's potty training to anyone else's. You will always get those parents who tell you their toddler was trained before the age of 1. Trust the signs your child is showing, and go with it.
12. Rewarding. Every toddler loves to feel special and to please mummy and daddy and especially when it comes to potty training. Using rewards is a great way to encourage your toddler to sit on the potty or the toilet, this can be reward chart and stickers or even a magical star box. It is important to reward even if they try and do not perform, sometimes it can be difficult to get them sitting on the potty or the toilet and this needs a little extra encouragement. Make sure you reward them immediately so they get the instant gratification.