Help from the expert
Heather Welford is a potty training expert and has some helpful tips and advice for parents about to take the potty plunge.
"Is it time for potty training? Choosing the right time - for you and your child - can help ensure success and save a lot of frustration", say Heather. "You can check out some of the signs that your toddler is ready by looking at the 8 Signs of Readiness' at www.pottytdance.co.uk. It'll help avoid starting too soon, which could mean asking your child to do something he's just not able to do. Age isn't a good guide to readiness, because children vary in how mature their bowels and bladder are, how well they understand what you want them to do, and how co-operative they feel like being, as well!"
"Most children are ready to be clean and dry in the day at some point between about two and about three years old (night time dryness usually comes later). If you've decided to start, then your first step is to buy a potty. Some taller, older children can use the loo straight away, but the advantage of a potty for learners is that it's portable, comfortable and for most toddlers, easier to use."
Heather's top tips
Keep the potty close by (one upstairs and one downstairs is useful)
Once you've decided the time's right, take your child out of nappies in the day - Huggies® Pull-Ups look like normal underwear, but cope with accidents well. Being sometimes in' and sometimes out' of nappies can be confusing for a toddler
If you're having a lot of accidents, and your child seems unbothered about the whole business, then it's fine to go back to nappies for a little while. It's not a failure' or a disaster' - just a little set-back that happens to lots of parents and toddlers
Huggies® Pull-Ups are especially useful when you're away from home, or in transit somewhere - bus, train car or pushchair
Keep a spare pair of pants or Huggies® Pull-Ups in your bag when you're out
Make sure clothing is easy to manage for quick responses - let your child wear jogging bottoms or leggings, rather than anything fastened at the waist with zips and buttons
Stay calm and encouraging when your child doesn't get to the potty in time, or if he forgets all about it - it's normal, and your child's not being naughty
When your child does a poo or a wee in the potty, even if you think it was mainly luck (it might be!), be positive and show how pleased you are. Check out the great Disney reward sticker charts at pottytraining.co.uk.
Keep potty training fun and enjoyable - the potty dance helps a lot with this
When you're away from home, visiting, or shopping, or anywhere there are public loos, help your child get used to using the toilet, so you don't have to carry a potty with you everywhere. Your child will need help to stay sitting comfortably, and little boys may need lifting up to stand and aim'