Tried-and-Tested Potty Training Ideas for Parents

Think your toddler is ready to bid farewell to the diapers? The process is easier when both you and your child are ready for this transition. Each kid has different developmental stage and not all of them are prepared at the same age. Most children begin to show the signs of readiness between 18 to 24 months, although some may be ready earlier, some much later. Additionally, boys usually begin later and take longer to learn to use the potty than girls. It is all about their physical and emotional readiness, not age specific.

How do we know if our child is ready for the potty? See the checklist below:

  • Able to follow simple instructions
  • Can understand and carry out the toileting process eg. get to the potty, pull down pants, sit on it, get off the potty and pull up pants
  • Verbally or physically express a need to eliminate
  • Can keep a diaper dry for 2 hours or more, or during naps
  • Wake up with a dry, overnight diaper for several weeks in a row
  • Show an interest in using the potty or wearing underpants

We gather some tried-and-tested tips from parents on creative ways to make potty training easier and less stressful:

“Look out for her cue to tell you she needs to go. We sit with her in the bathroom and read to her to make the wait more rewarding. But above all else, patience, patience, and patience is the key!”Karen

“I knew that my son was ready but he was just afraid of falling into the toilet. So we installed a child-size potty that came complete with steps to help him get up and down. He became more confident after that.” Leanne

“My little one seemed to fear the ‘out of control’ feeling every time she saw her poo-poo making an exit. What we did was to practise an open-door policy for a while, until she got the idea that it was a completely normal bodily process for everyone in the family. We let her watch and be with us in the bathroom.”Uma

“We make sure he goes to the potty before and after nap, after snacks time and right before bedtime.” – Nurul


“Getting my son to learn the pee standing-up thing was hard, so we turned it into a game. I threw several Cheerios into the potty and told him to aim at them when he peed. Every time he did it right, he got to pick out a prize from a basket of goodies we got from Daiso.”Christine

“We let her choose the ‘big girl underwear’, her preferred potty seat and got an interesting picture story book on potty training. She got rewarded with a sticker with every toilet visit. These worked for us!”Ashikin

“We didn’t believe in the reward system, but instead we gave just lots of positive reinforcement and attention. Making a big deal about small steps of progress is key. Accept that accidents are bound to happen, and when they do – stay encouraging. Bottom line is, they need to be developmentally ready.” – Fareesha

“My child was scared of the automatic flush in public toilets, so I stuck a post-it note over the sensor to stop the toilet from auto-flushing. Once she’s all done, wiped, and left the stall, you can remove the paper to let the toilet flush.”Esther

It’s normal to get hung up and worried when your child reaches a certain age and not potty-trained yet, which adds so much pressure and turns it into a battle. Take it easy and enjoy your little ones while you can because after all, no child is going to graduate high school in diapers!


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