week3This stage is all about potty training in the real world, when the spotlight has come off the first couple of weeks of intensive training, and the distractions of every day life are all around.

This is the time when you are most likely to be tempted to put the nappy back on. Try to resist, it could confuse your child and delay potty training.

Last week many people will have stayed at home to start potty training but so here are some tips for the first trips out.

Tips

DLM boy pointing left A4 AW amend (1)First trips out – Be prepared, take changes of clothes, a potty in a carrier bag, and make first trips short and achievable.

Make people that you are visiting aware of your expectations, especially if your child is going without you. Where possible make sure that they follow your system.

Expect accidents with play dates, or at school. They are learning an additional skill – to listen to their bodies while they are busy and distracted.

If there is a common time or situation that they have accidents, look out for tiredness, and heap extra praise and attention on keeping dry during this period.

Try to keep positive. Your child can get frustrated and frightened of failure at this stage, especially after doing so well earlier on.

Make sure you know where the toilets are when you are out and about. Talk to them about the noise of hand dryers, and the need to queue!

Be consistent, the good foundations are in place and you are nearly there!

At this stage your child is:

  • Learning to hold on for longer, and tell you when they need to go in advance.
  • Being motivated to go without the need for constant rewards and without being reminded.
  • Learning to listen to their bodies when distracted by play.
  • Having the confidence to ask to go to the toilet when they are away from their own home, or at school or nursery.
  • Look out for signs that your child is tired, as this is a common time for accidents, and give them gentle reminders and extra encouragement. Remember they will forget to listen to their body when they are tired; they are unlikely to be doing it on purpose.

Troubleshooting guide

My child asks for a nappy to poo in
  • Make a big fuss of ditching the nappies with your child, and picking their own grown up pants – make it a special ‘’bye bye nappy day!’’
  • This is a common issue we are asked about a lot! Read our advice here.

Anytime I am away from my child, they have an accident
  • Check that they feel confident asking others to go to the loo and double check the adults in charge are aware that your child is training.

My child has a tantrum every time I ask them to use the potty
  • This is common too lots of parents about this. Toddlers of potty training age would rather do a lot of things instead of learn to use the toilet, and they often don’t like to be reminded or told to go! 
  • Use strong incentives and positive reinforcement to reward successes or having a go (either on toilet or potty) and try ignore the accidents!

My child has special needs and I need a bit of extra advice on how to deal with this
  • This is common too lots of parents about this. Toddlers of potty training age would rather do a lot of things instead of learn to use the toilet, and they often don’t like to be reminded or told to go! 
  • Read this blog from The National Autistic Society.

My child would rather have an accident than worry about going to the toilet
  • In this case you need to make sure that you interrupt play and involve your child in the clean up process. If it becomes more time consuming and boring to clean up the mess, they will be more motivated to get to the toilet or potty in time.