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How to toilet train your toddler

Updated on May 3, 2012

Why I am writting this

To be honest with you all I have been watching someone who is in their words toilet training their child by saying to them all the time "are you going poo's". The other thing they have done is to buy underpants which they put onto the child till it pee's them then they put on a nappy and undies over top.

The child hides when it wants to do number two's and I have no idea how any of this is going to toilet train anyone. The only possative is that the child knows when they need to go number two's.

How I toilet trained my 2 year old son in 6 months

Firstly go and buy a toddler seat that fits onto the toilet seat making it the right size for the child.

Why ~ This will help the child to feel safe when sitting on the toilet instead of feeling like he or she will fall in. Lets face it, it is easier to train a child if they feel safe.

Second step go to the one two three dollar shop or something similar and buy a toddlers seat or stool.

Why ~ Again this is to give your child the feeling of security. Placing the stool in front of the toilet will give your child somewhere to put their feet and it will mean that when your further along in toilet training the child will be able to get onto the toilet on their own.

Take note of what time your child usually goes number 2's and if there are any signs that they are about to go number 2's. You will find that your child will normally go around the same time each day. Note I didn't say always but normally. Once you have that information locked and loaded move on to the next step.

Buy 3-4 toys for your child.

buy a bag of their favourite lollies or snacks.

Also buy 3-4 packs of stickers. I will let you know what to do with these soon.

You will also need a large piece of card, a ruler and a felt pen or a printer and a word programme or similar.

Buy pullups for your child.

You can create this chart then save it. Each time you need a new one add one of your childs fav characters from pics on the web or a pic of them.
You can create this chart then save it. Each time you need a new one add one of your childs fav characters from pics on the web or a pic of them. | Source

Your nearly ready to toilet train your child

There is one or two things to do first

Create a daily roster with your piece of card, ruler and felt pen ~ you will use this to place stickers on when your child goes toilet in the toilet in a week or two.

Another thing is to stop giving your child their favourite lollies or snacks as we are going to use these as a treat for going toilet in the toilet so for a few months that should be the only time they get this treat.

why ~ this is the easiest was of reinforcing that going in the toilet is a good thing to do. However the reinforcing impact wont be as strong if they are getting these treats at any other time for anything else.

Also stop giving stickers for anything else.

Pull ups have tear sides in case accidents happen
Pull ups have tear sides in case accidents happen

Time to Rock and Roll

Finally you say it is time to do the hard work of toilet training your 2 year old. So lets start.

Do Not show your child the toys, treats or the chart.

Place your child in his or her first pair of pull-ups. Do not worry at this time about number 1's we need to firstly toilet train for number 2's.

As soon as your child gives "their show" or when it is around the time your child normally goes number two's take them to the toilet and sit them upon it. It is important here to be aware that the first couple of times your child goes number 2's in the toilet it is going to be by accident. If your child has not gone after 5 minutes then take them off and try again in 10 minutes.

It may take a few days before you catch you child at the right time so please be patient and don't stress. Each time you place them on the toilet let them know it is time to go poo's on the toilet like a big boy or girl.

As soon as your child goes number 2's in the toilet praise them and let them know what a big boy/girl they are. After wiping their butt and washing their hands grab out one of those toys you brought earlier and give it to them.

Note ~ It may take another couple of days before you catch them at the right time again. This is normal and also why you brought 3-4 toys. It may take all those toys for your child to click that they get something special when they go number 2's in the toilet.

You may also need to get a few more toys as your wanting to get them to a stage of starting to go poo's in the toilet on a regular basis.

toilet seats for toddlers

Once your child goes number 2's regularly

Time to change from giving a toy to giving them their favourite lolly or snack each time they go number 2's on the toilet.

As long as you havn't given them this snack for any other reason this transition will be very easy.

Also since most children only go number 2's once a day you don't need to worry that you will be making your child fat. Your child should start to let you know when they need to go poo's around this time.

Once this happens you can congradulate yourself on a great job of toilet training your child for number 2's.

Keep up the treets for a few more weeks as you want to make sure this half of the toilet training is set in stone before we move on to the next part.


Place your sticker chart outside the bathroom

Time to train your child to go number 1's in the toilet.

This time we will use the sticker system.

why ~ I don't think you will be able to afford as many toys or treats as you would need and it wouldn't be healthy to give as many as you would end up giving out so stickers are the better option with perhaps special once they have a certain number of stickers.

each time you take your child to the toilet this time your after them going pee in the toilet. Any time they go pee in the toilet give them a sticker to put on their chart. Give them a larger sticker when they go poo's in the toilet as you don't want to go backwards now.

Again please note it will take a while (not as long as the first time) for your child to get what is required of them to get a sticker.

Again your looking for your child to become consistant with using the toilet.

Your childs first underpants

Once they are consistant and are starting to let you know when they need to go to the toilet go and buy them some underwear.

I would suggest you do this on a nice fine day so you can take your child outside at this time. Let your child tell you when they need to go toilet.

Chances are that your child may forget to let you know he or she needs to go toilet. Although your child wont like the new feeling of actually wetting their pants please try to wait a few minutes 3-5 before changing them into pull-ups.

Why ~ firstly allowing your child to experiene being wet will help to let them know they don't like feeling this way and therefore need to remember to go to the toilet.

Secondly placing them into pull-ups instead of into another pair of pants will teach them that if they wet their underwear they don't get to wear any more until tomorrow. Expect tantrums here lol. let them know we will try again tomorrow. after a few days you should find your child almost never has accidents.

Keep up with the stickers for another few months changing how many your child needs to get to get something special (slowly make the number larger). Then change it to it being that the child needs to not wet their pants before lunch, then at all that day to get a sticker etc.

Congrats you have a day toilet trained child.


Night Training your child

I swapped nappies for pull-ups for night time then started to take my son to the toilet just before I went to bed myself.

Why ~ simply because it means it gives the child a better chance of lasting the night without wetting their pull-ups.

I did the toys for a clean dry nappy then went to having to get 3 special night stickers to be able to go to the 1,2,3 dollar shop and pick out a toy. Then 5 stickers, 7, 14 etc.

I started toilet training my son just after his 2nd birthday and other than a rare mishap he was completely toilet trained by the time he was just over 2 1/2 years old.

Every child is different so dont get disheartened if it takes a little longer and always remember to keep praising your child.

Never get angry as this will put your child backwards .... accidents happen just say oh well we'll try again tomorrow.

Good luck to you all´╗┐


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    • Lyn.Stewart profile image

      Lyn.Stewart 5 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

      Hi Jesse Mugnier ... You are very welcome and thanks for leaving a comment. This was basically the way I was toilet trained though I tweaked what goodies etc. I gave to fit my son.

      I have also had a few friends from my sons play group that have tweaked this info and used my way of toilet training on their children with great results.

      Good luck and remember to stay calm and that this process will take at least 6 months.

    • Jesse Mugnier profile image

      Jesse Mugnier 5 years ago from Jersey

      I am potty training my 3 year old, this was helpful thank you :)

    • Lyn.Stewart profile image

      Lyn.Stewart 5 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

      Hi angela_michelle ... good luck with your toilet training I hope it all goes smoothly for you.

      It is definately easier to put your child into underwear when you know your not going to end up having to clean anything other than number ones if they get too busy playing lol.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 5 years ago from United States

      I liked your idea of teaching number two first. :) I think I might try that.

    • Lyn.Stewart profile image

      Lyn.Stewart 5 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

      Thanks for the feedbak brandyBahmann

    • brandyBachmann profile image

      brandyBachmann 5 years ago

      Good hub! Very helpful for all moms there.

    • Lyn.Stewart profile image

      Lyn.Stewart 5 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

      Hey Kashmir nice to see you here. I'm glad you think this is helpful it makes me feel that it was worthwhile doing this hub.

      Thanks for your kind words SouthernHoney

      WorkAtHomeMums I wish you luck and hope that this helps you toilet train your girl.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      I've got a 3.5 yr old that I can't toilet train. Tried everything. Bought everything. One of the hardest times in my life as she is so stubborn. Loves her nappies. Screams blue murder without them. I'm going to try your advice. Thanks for sharing.

    • SouthernHoney profile image

      SouthernHoney 5 years ago from Woodinville, WA

      Great practical hub - this can be such a challenge for parents, so any advice is always useful.

      Voted up!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      All great information and well explained, will help anyone trying to toilet train their kids .

      Vote up and more !!!