Starting in toddler-hood...
Clothing tips for toileting newborns
If your newborn is happy lying down the easiest thing is to only dress their top half and use a blanket to cover their lower half so you can easily pick them up and hold them over their potty without messing about numerous times with pants or nappies. With a waterproof liner and a simple prefold cloth under them you'll quickly see and change any misses.
If you prefer full clothing and a nappy on them to catch misses then a dress or long night-gown with elastic at the feet can also be faster and easier to use than shorts or pants.
After the preparation phase, when you are ready...
Positions that work well for 18+ month olds:
Hold baby over the seat facing you, or with you nearby as required for safety, and using a seat reducer if required.
Baby can sit on the potty with or without support from you, as needed.
Remember you are both learning. Repeated experiences strengthens the association for them between the sound, the position and the sensation in their body as they pee or poo. With a bit of practice you as the caregiver will also develop a feel for how long it takes or whether they'll take you up on the offer.
You will likely be very delighted for your child when they pee or poo in response to your cue – which is great, your warmth and enthusiasm makes the process pleasant and positive – but I urge you to stay away from overenthusiastic praise or special attention (such as rewards from you). Stay in the realm of affirmation and positive reinforcement rather than praise. None of this is to be done to please you. The urge to eliminate is not something someone can control, so it makes no sense to praise or reward someone for having this urge and acting on it. This is a normal bodily function achieved by your child and the focus should stay on them. It is not special, nor taboo. Consider how you react to other daily activities - just as we don’t usually reward our children for eating or sleeping, going to the toilet is a matter-of-fact process that you do all your life.
Newborns love to be held close and comfortable, so baby-carrying using a stretchy wrap is a great way to support them. When you are carrying your newborn in quiet alertness close to your body you get very attuned to their movements and can quickly recognise an 'I need a toilet' squirm to get out of the carrier. Their instinct is to be off your body and out of fabric to pee or poo (to avoid soiling their nest). You may even experience a phantom pee (hot sensation as if you're being peed on, but aren't). If either occurs its a good time to offer a toilet, as well as anytime you take your baby out of the carrier. There are many types of carriers and you may prefer different ones for different activities. Personally, I preferred a Tula Explore for longer walks; a moby wrap for cosy time at home; and a woven ring sling for out of the car and popping into a shop and back again.