23 December 2015

How to potty train: best tips and products from experts

I would like to share with you the best potty-training tips I received from potty-training experts recently. Our daughter is now 2.5 years old and we are finally entering that important stage - potty-training. We attended a potty-training event where we got loads of expert tips and a few products to help our potty training along. I found this information so useful I though I'd share these top tips with you guys as well, and tell you a bit about our experiences of potty training. Please note, this post is written in collaboration with Huggies UK. 





When to start potty training?

Whenever the child is showing the signs! The signs are showing interest in potties or going to the toilet and recognising when they are wet/soiled and wanting to be changed. They should also be able to follow simple instructions. Age isn't really important, it is more about the aptitude.

That said, it is best to leave potty training to a time when there isn't too much change in your lives. It can be too stressful for the little one otherwise! Our daughter showed the signs for a long time, but as we were moving house, we delayed her potty training a few months as we wanted her to settle in first.

Summer or winter?
It is a bit easier in the summer time as you need less layers, and could go bare naked too. That said, it is important to start potty training as soon as the child shows interest in. You might lose that momentum if you wait for the optimal season.



First steps to potty training

Explain, explain and explain what to do. Take your child to the toilet with you - they are so fascinated about what is going on they won't mind the smell ha ha. Kids love learning by example. We also bought a potty training book and started reading it, and it made a world of a difference to her enthusiasm.

Our book explains how you say good bye to nappies and hello to big girl pants, and she was really excited about this message. We bought her a load of little knickers, which she loved wearing, and most definitely made her realise straight away when she had just peed/pooed herself!

When we go out, she wears Huggies Pull-Ups. They are fab as they let her experience the wetness on her skin, so she recognises the sensation and can start learning about when she needs to go. She often wears the Pull-Ups home as well - we call them her special pants and she loves putting them on and gets excited about the different pictures on them. Using Pull-Ups means potty training is a bit less of a hassle for us and when we are outside, she won't get upset about having an accident and soiling her clothes.

We also received a potty for her - My Carry Potty Ladybug. My daughter got to choose a potty out of three options, a ladybug, a bee and a cow, and she was just beaming with her choice. She loved it and is now insisting on taking it with her everywhere. That's a great tip by the way - let them choose their own potty to get them all excited about potty training and let them have a sense of ownership of the whole process. 

Potty training on the go

Currently we use Huggies Pull-Ups outside, and take her My Carry Potty with us when we go visit family. She loves having her potty with her, and it helps that we are consistent about potty training. She doesn't wear nappies except at night time, and she gets to use her potty even if we are out of the house. It really does help! Having a potty with you, even when you go to the shops is really helpful as well, as you can whip it out whenever you need to and avoid accidents on the go. My Carry Potty also has some serious sealing action on it - I haven't had to test it in action yet, but I am pretty confident it would hold anything in it until you can empty it!




When to night time potty train?

The best time to start night time potty training is when they start to have dry nappies in the morning. Each to their own, you can do night time potty training at the same time as day time potty training or once your child has gotten the hang of it during the day.  It's likely that this will take a while, and it might be better for your own sanity to nail day time before progressing to night time!

Rewarding success

You can reward children with stickers, or use a reward chart, and apparently it really helps. We however decided not to reward her with anything else than praise and encouragement.  One reason is that we think that really is enough, secondly we didn't want to encourage material rewards. But each to their own - some children apparently really appreciate a little reward like a sticker, or perhaps after doing well enough for an extended period of time, something a bit bigger like a colouring book. We got some fab Huggies stickers, and a Crayola colouring pens and a book to use as rewards.





Trouble shooting: What if it is scary?
It is quite normal for kids to get scared of the sensation, the mess and the end result. They might even feel bashful and upset at their bodily movements and try hide during or after pooing.

Our daughter got really upset when we first tried potty training her and we had several stop and starts with her potty training. She got so upset and cried a lot when she did a poo without a nappy on, and after that she refused to even go near a potty. We decided to leave it for a few months to get over the bad feeling, and to try again later.

Lots of encouragement helps, as well as making poo fun and non- threatening (yes, really). The first poo our daughter made on the potty took lots of encouragement, a bit of "magic" by mummy using her fairy wand (don't ask...) and lots of time sitting around the potty. Once she did it, we took it to the toilet and waved it good bye, and flushed it away. Yes. We really did that, just to prove poo isn't scary and she doesn't need to be upset about it. Parental love in action!

How did we get on?

After about a week of consistent effort we got a first poo in the potty! Yay! At first she was a bit scared of the whole process and would hold it in, and then poo when she was sleeping, but after lots of encouragement we got there. Day time wees are a bit more difficult to catch as they come so quick, but we are getting there. We use the Pull-Ups when we go out to avoid little accidents. As she feels the wetness with them, she is also learning about the sensations that lead to peeing. We also take the My Carry Potty with us so she can potty train even if we are out. She is doing really well and is learning so fast - it really did help to wait until she was ready and to be consistent in our efforts.


potty training kit huggies pull ups


Potty training kit giveaway (now ended!)

I got a full potty training kit to take away from the event - and I'll be able to share one with you too! It includes Huggies Pull-Ups, Huggies Style on the Go wipes pack, Huggies Disney stickers, a My Carry Potty, a My Carry Potty book, Crayola colouring pens and a Crayola colouring book. So it really is a complete potty training kit, with everything you need! 

T&C: UK residents only! Can't guarantee the colour/model/exact quantity of the products, the picture is for representative purposes only. You can enter daily with a tweet and the free entry :)

Edit: There are some fabulous tips in the comment box, be sure not to miss them. I can't reply to you all, as there are over 50 of them currently, but I have read every comment and am planning to do a follow-up post referencing them :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


 


124 comments:

  1. I would say do it when they are showing signs and remember it will come in time.

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  2. Just to make as fun as can involve them in buying choosing potty xx

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  3. Try to start during the Summer if you can so you can let your little one romp around in just a top and their pull-ups (so much quicker and easier for them to pull down thie pull-ups if they are not wearing trousers or tights!)

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    1. Very true! Now that it is winter we heat our house a bit more so our daughter can often just walk around in a dress or a shirt and pull-ups :)

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  4. wait till their ready and go with the flow

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  5. dont be pushy , you will know when there are ready

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  6. We haven't started yet, so we need all the tips we can get! :)

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  7. its not an issue -dont make it one - make it fun give them a potty and let them choose when to use it -

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  8. Have Lots of patience!!! :) I like to reward after my little ones have went to the potty this can range from a wander to the park or a little sweet treat or 30 minutes of their favourite dvd/programme :) Merry Christmas

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  9. I would say don't rush - It can make it take longer

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  10. my plan is to wait until he is really ready

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  11. only start when your child is showing signs of being ready

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  12. Lots of spare clothes and patience

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  13. Turn it into a bit of a game, and reward when they 'win'

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  14. Rewards helped my boy. Stickers on his potty, and every 10, he got a pack of sweet, and 100 stickers got him a day to Legoland!

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  15. Wait until your baby is ready and then whenever baby shows signs of needing to urinate or have a poop you should ask them if he wants to use the potty. Don't pressurise or make it stressful. When they use the potty cheer and clap, do a happy dance and give them a sticker and a sweetie as a reward

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    1. We do a little happy dance, we call it the poopoo dance... :D It works a treat! She loves it and it makes her giggle so hard.

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  16. i put glitter in the potty to encourage them to wee- then you have magic sparkly wee :)

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    1. Ha ha this is a really unique idea! Never heard this one, it must be quite funny for them to see it :)

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  17. Summer is best to potty train. They can run around the garden naked with no worries about any accidents.

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  18. I haven't any tips but thanks for the blog and everyones tips , got some ideas for the future x

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  19. Be patient, be kind as the little one is developing and learning to adapt to a new way of life.

    Rachel Craig

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  20. Lots of praise and lots of patience.

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  21. We've not done the potty training yet so no tips from me I'm afraid. Our toddler will be 2 in a week or so and we're hoping to start potty training after that. x

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  22. Patience and expect a few accidents x

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  23. No pressure on the little ones

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  24. I think wait until they show signs of really being ready. My second has just shown an interest in asking to sit on the toilet and telling us when he has been in his nappy, so will start gently encouraging him over the next few weeks. Also be prepared for accidents, take a couple of changes of clothes out and potty and plastic bag!

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    1. I think this is probably the key - we did potty training too early at first as we experienced a lot of setbacks on our first try. Now it is much better as she was really ready.

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  25. For us, it was waiting till our daughter was ready and understood she needed to go! Reward charts worked a treat and lots of over enthusiastic clapping and cheering from mummy each time she went. Each child is different but remaining positive and encouraging even after accidents really do help both parent child. p

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    1. Yes definitely, remaining positive and encouraging at all times, and not making a big deal about accidents. We say "Clean it up, it's OK, accident happen" :)

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  26. Follow their lead and keep patient :)

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  27. Allow the child to go shopping with you to buy 'grown up' clothes for when nappies are no longer required and hang them in sight not in the wardrobe. Tell them that the clothes are ready whenever they are - but there is no rush.

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    1. Interesting idea - sort of like big girl/boy knickers but something a bit more special!

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  28. Be patient, it won't happen overnight.

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  29. My daughter is 16 months so this would be perfect to get her started. Not a tip as never done it before but I am guessing being patient and waiting until they are showing signs they are ready is a good idea x

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  30. Have patience, read a story whilst they sit on the potty. Give rewards and grow confidence.

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  31. Patience,encouragement, consistency is key! And remember there may be alot of trial and error but you will get there!

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  32. My tip is to take it easy as they will start when they are ready.

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  33. let your child say goodbye to the nappies and put them in the bin themselves and then show them thier big underwear

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  34. It's all about timing and knowing when your child is ready. My first boy was potty trained at two and a half. My youngest is 3 in March and isn't interested at all!

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  35. Make sure when they have an accident they don't feel punished

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  36. Hard to say because Phoenix hated nappies anyway and as soon as she could use a potty she did. Hated "acky" nappies and would rather not wear them at all. Although she wasn't overly fond of cold toilets so if you can keep a warm potty and where the toilet is a bit warmer than normal that might help a bit. :) Only complaint she had. Now 4 and she very rarely has an accident.

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    1. Good tip! I hate going into cold toilets too and cold toilet seats, yuk :( Can imagine as a kid it would be even more horrible. Unfortunately our toilet is really cold, so she has a potty in the living room.

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  37. The few times my little one has let us know she needs to go potty I put her on and sit next to her and sing so she feels comfortable

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  38. Be prepared for all sort of strange situations and toilet stops in random places :P

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  39. Follow your childs lead. They will do it when they are good and ready x

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  40. Dont be pushy, and remember everyone is different!

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  41. I started with my daughter when she was 2, tried for 1 week. she was ready but lazy, tried again month later for 1 week and she straight went to toilet. when I tried I kept reminding her all the time that she needs to go to toilet and I didn't leave the house for week so that way she didn't wear a nappy till she fully trained.

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    1. Fab - I wish we could have stayed in more too - I think it really does help as you can be consistent and help them learn at all times.

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  42. don't put too much pressure on them! x

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  43. don't put too much pressure on them! x

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  44. Explain what the toilet is there for, may seem simple to us but my son struggled with going on it, i explained what happened and from then on we had no accidents x

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    1. Kids really do understand much more than you think, I find this works in all kinds of situations, not just potty-training :)

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  45. I haven't had to go through it yet. Our little boy is just coming up to 18 months so could start showing signs any day now. Any tips are appreciated as he's my first and I have no idea where to start. Thanks for the blog post, I shall be bookmarking it to refer to when necessary!

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  46. make them feel like its the biggest achievement ever the more praise they get the more they want to go :)

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  47. Lots of praise. I found a book about potty training really useful. It had thomas the tank in it so my son was really interested in it.

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  48. Take your time and plenty of encouragement, i always found getting your child to show there favourite toy how to do it helps.. distracts them if they are scared :D

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    1. Great tip! I think this could really help some kids, and when you use the dolly to show them what to do, they find it less threatening :)

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  49. Lots of encouragement and patience x

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  50. Only do it when they are ready! You'll know.

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  51. just to be patient,it may take longer than you anticipate, it will all fall in to place............eventually!

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  52. Wait till their ready and just relax

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  53. My LO had a doll that was also able to 'use the potty' - she loved playing mummy and would say that her doll needed the potty when she did!

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    1. Ha ha what a fab tip! That might help some reluctant learners as well :)

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  54. Don't be too hasty, let them figure it out in own time

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  55. No matter how much you want it to happen they will do it when they are ready x

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  56. dont force then they will do it in their own time remember that every child is different and will learn at different rates x

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  57. Lots of patience. We have just bought a new book for my son so fingers crossed it helps!

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  58. Not yet as just getting there with my daughter!

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  59. No tips yet as we are only just starting to try

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  60. I'm at the stage of potty training my little girl. I'm waiting for her to show a little bit of interest in it as she still gets upset if I ask her to use a potty.

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  61. I'm not stressing about it too much, I let my eldest do it when she was felt ready and it went fairly smoothly. My youngest was 2 in Nov and has been showing some interest, but I'm going to wait a tiny bit longer until the warmer weather

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  62. My tip would be to never get angry about accidents (however frustrating they are!), and to reward successes

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  63. I havnt started yet but hes 18 months so will be starting soon x

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  64. Don't push them into it, wait until they are ready and are showing signs x

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  65. Try and make it fun for the child and give lots of praise, ignoring the accidents that will happen.

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  66. Just to say, it's been great reading everyone's tips...I'm really struggling getting my little fella to take to his potty. We've given it a name, used it as part of play...but there is still a real reluctance to use it? One thing is for certain - I'm determined not to pressure him into using it. x

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    1. Maybe he isn't quite ready yet? For us it was quite helpful to read a potty training book with pictures of a lil girl going on a potty. We just read the book for a couple of weeks before we took out the potty, and my daughter was much more interested in it and willing to try it after a very gentle start. Maybe that might help?

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  67. My biggest tip is not to rush it, you will know when they are ready.

    Kirsty Fox

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  68. put a potty out just generally and encourage them to sit on it without 'going' first.

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  69. I haven't attempted potty training yet so has been interesting to read this post and all the comments :)

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  70. Don't rush and make it fun :)

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  71. Patience and rewards! (@PeanutHog)

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  72. It will happen when they are ready, no pressure :)

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  73. Don't stress and make it fun x

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  74. Gentle reminders. And make up stories :-)

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  75. keep calm--and carry on potty training

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  76. Patience and wait until your child is ready...dont try to rush it (@Martha_644)

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  77. We're thinking of starting soon so don't have any tips to offer at the moment, although my sister swears by just going for it and having a few days of no bottoms at home! What a brilliant prize too!

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  78. My eldest was really ready when we trained her, but when she needed number 2s she used to hide behind the sofa as she didn't like being watched. So a tip would be to leave the potty somewhere where they feel like they have privacy

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  79. Potty training is something that can't be rushed the key to potty training is patience and making the journey fun, I think that potty training should be introduced to a child when you feel they are ready and showing signs, talk to them about it and leave a potty out which could encourage them, potty training will make a little one feel independent so I think it would be a good time to encourage 'big boy/girl pants' and let them join in when picking them out, if they have older siblings it could make potty training earlier because they look up to them, but lots of praise is key! Thanks so much for the chance, this would be perfect for my little boy :)

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  80. Wait until they are showing signs they are ready. To try and get them to sit still on potty or toilet for more than 5 seconds read them a book or let them play a game on tablet

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  81. Be very patient. Remember that everyone gets there in the end.

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  82. Wait until your child shows the signs they are ready,don't rush it and be patient

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  83. My son was given a Thomas the tank Engine book to look at & read as well as listening to the tape. He has to kept busy and entertained and distracted so he would sit otherwise he would not sit long enough on the potty to do his job!!!.

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  84. I want to start potty training my daughter.These tips are really useful.Patience is what I'm keeping in mind

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  85. Patience, encouragement and rewards!

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  86. I think by letting my son go with me when I need to use the toilet and him getting familiar with what happens - sitting on the toilet, flushing, washing hands etc its made it seem normal and grown up to him and helped get rid of any anxieties

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  87. Going to start William potty training soon so no real advice yet, read your article on potty training and found it really helpful so will be using some of your tips

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  88. have a lot of patience, and be led by your child - kids learn at different times

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  89. leave it until the child is ready, don't push for it, they will so it in their own time.

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  90. We are just starting the potty training, I wish I had some tips for everyone, patience? ;)

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