Toilet Training Part 1: Preparing for toilet training

There is a LOT of information out there about kids and toileting ~ toilet training, potty training, nappy free, elimination communication…. it can be quite overwhelming! I always find the best advice to be words of experience from other parents – all the articles out there that are good, but I love to read about exactly how other families tackle parenting issues. Now I’m giving my story to other parents who might be interested. I am no toilet training expert, just a mum who’s tried it her own way. In this toilet training series I will share tips, tricks and advice from my own experiences, resources to help with toilet training, and advice from other mums. Part 1 will cover how we prepared Pebble for toilet training. I hope that you find it useful. Please share your own experiences in the comments.

Preparing Your Child for Toilet Training

1. Role Model

Like most parents Paul and I have always shared our own toilet time with Pebble. Not always be choice! Kids do like to be right where their parents are a lot of the time, and going to the toilet with the door closed is a thing of the past for us. When Pebble is with us in the bathroom, she’ll often ask questions about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. This has been the perfect opportunity to talk with your her about toileting, show her how it’s done, talk about different body parts and what they do, and explain that she is going to do it one day too.

2. Read

We have a couple of books on toilet training, and over the last year I have borrowed a couple from the library too. We have read them long before toilet training started, and also more regularly during the toilet training process, especially when Pebble asks for them. She was naturally more interested in these books when she was actually trying to learn too.

Some of our favourite books have been:

My Very Own Potty: A book for girls (also available in A book for boys)

I Want My Potty by Tony Ross

On Your Potty! by Virginia Miller

3. Play

We have had a potty and a children’s toilet seat insert since Pebble was about 18 months old. I got pretty eager for the opportunity to toilet train back then, but she was just not ready. However she has had a year now to play with her potty, her toys have all had a turn, she has practiced sitting on it and pulling her pants down and back up. By the time we were ready to start toilet training (more about this in Part 2), Pebble was very familiar and comfortable with the potty. One thing that I would definitely do differently next time is put more energy into practicing sitting on the toilet, as well as the potty. Just for fun, just to be comfortable with it. Right now Pebble will not go near the toilet, and I’m dragging our potty to outings everywhere. That said, if I had tried harder to get Pebble to sit on the toilet more often, she may have resisted it more firmly! It is something that I will keep in mind for next time.

Stay tuned for Toilet Training Part 2: Choosing The Right Time

What’s your best advice for preparing for toilet training?

11 Replies to “Toilet Training Part 1: Preparing for toilet training”

  1. We are in the same boat. My daughter likes Elmo, so we have been using the Elmo Potty Training video (excerpted on YouTube) as well as an Elmo book. She seems excited about the prospect (although it’s still merely a prospect!)

    1. At least it’s a prospect, that’s better than nothing. We have good days and bad days. Today was quite bad actually, it did make me wonder what I was doing writing a toilet training tips post! We had been going so well too. Tomorrow is a new day.

  2. Great tips for getting ready – we’ve been doing lots of these things but I think we need to carry on a little longer with this preparation phase, having tried and failed to potty train!! I’ll be interested to read your next post – I was convinced my girl twin was ready, but she had other ideas. My post about it is here: (Thanks for the offer to link back! :) )
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    1. I hope you find the series useful. We’re still having bad days, but overall the progress has been really good. Good luck with the twins!

    1. Oh, Amanda! I’m SO embarrassed … we were going SO well I got all smug and posted the beginning of this series. Of course that very day Pebble refused to use the potty, and we’ve faced potty refusal almost constantly since then :( I’m still not sure what to do about it, but I’ll be coming clean on the blog this week. Let’s just say the series is on hold for a little while! Serves me right for counting my chickens too early.

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