by Iman Khan

Image source: potty time

Training your toddler to use the toilet can be a daunting and intimidating chore for most inexperienced mothers. But with the right mindset and attitude, your anxiety and misgivings can be put to ease, and this duration can actually prove to be a valuable bonding time between you and your child.

What is the best time to start?

Like most child-related breakthroughs, the ideal time to start your son or daughter on the potty, varies greatly from one little one to the other. As a caregiver, the onus is on you to determine your child’s physiological readiness, bladder control, his/her comprehension skills and ability to follow instructions.

It is not advisable to force your child into the issue; instead let them guide you to when they are ready!

To start off, pick a time period when you can maximize staying indoors, subsequently making it easier for you and your child to adhere to a routine. Get your child excited about the whole process! Potty by Leslie Patricelli is just one of several handy books that you could read to your child to get them to cooperate with you throughout the course of potty training.


Potty by Leslie Patricelli

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Where and how to begin?

Identify one of the restrooms at your home as your toddler’s new training ground. You could potentially put in a free-standing potty, or place a colorful potty seat over an adult toilet, if your child is big enough to sit unassisted and without the fear of falling through.

Potty training options

Potty training options

How to prevent accidents?

  • Pay close attention to your child’s body language and cues. Take note of their facial expressions every time you think they feel the need to go. For instance, some children wince when they need to poo while others prefer hiding away in a secluded corner.
  • Try and figure out their pee/potty patterns – ask yourself questions like, do they go every two hours or four?
  • Without becoming too overbearing, ask your child on a timely basis if they feel the need to use the bathroom. If they say yes, briskly transfer them onto the toilet seat and wait for the magic to happen!
  • If they have an accident, and they will, do not despair! Be patient and persevere. Go down to their eye-level and communicate with them in the most calm manner, explaining what went wrong.

Continuing a streak of success

Every time your toddler has a pee or potty success, show your appreciation in the most vocal and animated way possible. Do not hesitate to make your child feel special about their big accomplishment! Put a sticker on their rewards chart, with the promise of a favorite toy/treat when they reach 7-10 stickers.

Common Concerns

Should I be using pull-ups on my child? 

Most mothers will refrain from using pull-ups on their child while within the confines of their homes. This helps avoid any confusion in their little minds. Training pants can essentially be used for shorter intervals of time whilst out and about, mostly for the sake of convenience and to prevent potential messy mishaps.

My child is trained to use the bathroom during the day. When can I rid him of his night-time diapers?

If your child is waking up in the mornings with consistently barely-wet, or dry diapers, then it is cause for celebration! He/she may, in effect, be ready to sleep the night sans their nappies. To ensure a smooth transition, make sure they are made to use the bathroom every night before they go to bed, and also avoid intake of large quantities of liquids at least a couple of hours before.

I am a working mother. How do I make sure my child keeps up the potty training schedule I started off with him?

It is imperative that working mothers educate their child’s caregiver on proper technique and the relevant potty training exercise to make sure the entire schedule continues to be smooth and effective. This will avoid any confusion for the child, while the mum is away at work.

With the right approach, potty training can actually be a breeze! You will be amazed at how intelligent and perceptive your little ones can be. Remember, patience and perseverance is key and before you know it, your toddler is on to the next milestone in their life.


About the Author:

Iman Khan is an editor at




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