Potty training. It’s exciting, memorable & er, messy. As a mum who’s worn the wee stained t-shirt, I can tell you it takes patience, praise & a lot of wipes. But once you’ve nailed it & your lil’ person is tottering off to the toilet, while announcing to the world that they are going for a wee or a poo, the pride you feel is awesome. Yes, really.

So, to help you, here’s some tips that worked for me. Of course every tot is different & there can be times when you feel like giving up, but just remember, they all eventually get to grips with this loo lark. #inittogether.

Read the signs

The best way to make sure they ace potty training? Let them show you when they’re ready. We knew ours was all set when he was having a 💩 in his nappy & knew he was doing it. He used to disappear behind the sofa to have his moment of privacy. He also had words for wee & poo & if his nappy was dirty, he’d come to me so I could change it. The glamour.

Let them own it

You’ve seen the signs & you’re raring to go, now you just need mini-me to get in on the action. So get them involved. Let them pick their big kid training pants. Be warned, they’ll be stripping down to show them off regardless of where you are (I speak from experience). And, if you’re feeling brave enough, let them pick the potty too. Not before narrowing it down to a few & let them think they’ve bossed it. They’re more likely to accept this little wonder as their loo BFF if they feel they chose it. #sneaky.

Get others involved

Introduce a ‘potty friend.’ My little potty trainer was thrilled when we pulled out a new bath toy, who we called Mr Potty Pal (the things parents do). He gave our little rascal confidence when was too scared to sit on the potty. We chose a bath toy but it can be anything you like, teddy, doll… you get the picture. Alternatively, invest in a kids’ book all about potty training. In fact, let’s get serious: get both.

Our little tester, Dexter, 2 showing us how it's done.

Praise, praise & patience

Ready to put on your highest, most sing-song happy voice? You’re gonna need it. First wee? Dance around the house (we had a wee wee dance that looked a lot like the conga), while a poo in the potty calls for all-out celebrations. Don’t fancy screaming until you’re hoarse? Ye olde favourites, rewards charts & stickers are awesome for giving them that warm fuzzy feeling.

Keep calm & wipe it up

There will be accidents. Of course there will. And they’ll probably get a bit tearful & decide they don’t want to do this loo lark anymore. The best way to deal with it is with lots of reassurance. If it’s during the day make sure you have a spare pair of clothes to hand - it’ll mean you can simply whip off the wet & put on the dry without a fuss. Nighttime accident? Make sure you give them lots of cuddles & keep clean bedding to hand. Oh, & let’s not forget the miracle that is the mattress protector. It’s on the 101 of potty training musts.

Willy down

There’s a sentence I bet you thought you’d never read & one I never thought I’d write! But if you have a little boy then this tip will save your life - well your floor really. Make sure their little winky is always down and tucked into the potty. It’ll mean little leaks onto the floor & down their legs don’t happen. We learnt the hard way with the now 5 year old...

Choose a potty that fits your lifestyle

The world of potties is huge so think about what you need & the space you have when it comes to these. Bathroom too tiny for a potty? Invest in one that’s light & has a no spill & removable middle feature. It means you can easily transport it & dispose of it quickly. Want your tot to be comfy while they do their thing? Ergonomic potties, which can be adjusted as your little rugrat grows, are awesome for this.

Here’s a wee selection (see what we did there) of some of our faves when it comes to potty training. Go ahead, take a pee(k). Chuckle.