At what age should you put your child on the potty?

Potty training: a big milestone in a child’s life. Although some children take off their nappy and take to the potty or the toilet themselves, many others will need help from their parents.

How can you help to potty train them? Thankfully, we have some tips for you!

Potty training: Out of nappies and onto the potty

From around 18 months old, a child can hold on and not go in their nappy by controlling their sphincter1. It’s time to take off their nappy so they can go either on the potty or on the toilet with the aid of a potty training seat.

But before you take off their nappy, your child needs to be ready for it, because it is a huge change. There’s no point forcing them, they’ll let you know when the time is right! There’s also no point comparing them with other children. Some will be potty trained quicker than others: each at their own pace.

Once again, you should respect your child’s own pace in this important stage. No pressure!

Getting them on the potty: tips and a positive attitude!

As this stage is important, your child should not feel forced into it. They should not be scared of it. The whole experience should be a positive and joyful one.

Therefore, avoid removing their nappy at stressful times (moving house, birth of a little brother or sister, etc.). Choose a calm time.

Communication is key. You need to explain to them what is happening, why they need to do it, why it’s important and how proud you are of them.

You can suggest the potty, which has the advantage of being easily accessible, or encourage them to “be like mummy/daddy” and use the toilet, with a potty training seat and a step of course.

And don’t forget to congratulate them, encourage them with little books on the subject of music in the loo, or buy them pants with their favourite superhero on them, etc. Keep it fun!

1 Elever son enfant de 0 à 3 ans, Le Guide des Nouveaux Parents de Marcel Rufo, (Hachette Pratique)


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