Build a Routine
Once you are underway, you can get more consistent by building toileting opportunities into your existing routines, for example:
"When she/he wakes up, I will offer the potty"
"After every nap, I will first offer the potty, then we go about our day"
"During every daytime nappy change, I will offer the potty"
"Before going in the high-chair for dinner, I will offer the potty"
"Whenever I see a poo-face expression, I will say 'wait' and offer the potty instead of ignoring it"
"After a bath, we try the potty, put PJ's on, brush teeth, then read a book"
- "When my toddler runs toward me, crying for no likely reason, I will offer"
This 'new' habit of offering the toilet shouldn't take long, so when you get to the moment in your day you said you would do it, just offer and make it fun and see what happens.
If they don't need to go you can just say 'Oh well, will try again later. There could be many reasons they didn't need to go just then or didn't feel comfortable enough.
If your toddler doesn't like to go to the toilet in a certain way or a certain place, consider trying a new location or start offering the toilet seat insert or just a toilet seat itself (like adults) or try a different position. If you run into any difficulties we encourage you to check out our FAQ's or other online Resources to to help you learn and refine your process. Contact us or follow on social media.
A simple regular routine of WHEN and HOW you offer will help your baby relax and trust the process.
Toileting together at night
How you approach night-time is likely linked to where and how your family sleeps. Being well rested is vital, so make the night-time choices that work for you. If you want as undisturbed a sleep as possible, disposable or other feel dry type of nappies can help.
A fact worth knowing is that toddlers, like adults, produce anti-diuretic hormone in their sleep to keep them dry. The urge to pee comes on very soon after waking (even if ever so slightly). Therefore, babies and toddlers often become restless in the night from that uncomfortable urge to pee/poo or to eat. Their shifting and squirming before waking is your opportunity to help your baby relieve themselves quickly before they've even fully woken up. Alternatively, figuring out what time of night that generally is can help you stage a planned sleepy-lift onto a potty or toilet to let them release on cue and go back to sleep relatively quick.
Interrupted sleep is a way of life with toddlers, so if you are going to be up anyway you could give night-time toileting a go. Surprisingly, the lack of distractions can make night-time toileting easier than in the day. All you need is a potty, wipes and stock of nappies (for misses) next to their bed and a dim night-light to see what you are doing.
If your potty tends to get knocked over when fumbling in the dark, it can help to put a bit of cloth inside to reduce splash or limit any spills.
Eventually, you may become confident enough to let them sleep without a nappy (on a liner and waterproof pad) to make night-time access faster and easier.
Toileting while out and about
In the same way that you take into consideration when your child might be hungry or sleepy, you'll gradually develop an awareness for when and where you can offer an opportunity to go to the toilet. It can help to have them wear easy-access clothing since quality of facilities vary widely. You may like to start by just offering a toileting opportunity at transitional moments like when you are leaving home or arriving anywhere, or at any time you are near a bathroom at the shopping center. You can take a potty with you or just use a practiced hold over any toilet.
Keep an eye on whether they seem to be sensitive to toileting somewhere new. Some toddlers don't need a lot of privacy and others do. Some will be much more comfortable using a toilet while out and about compared to others who get tense.
Once you are both confident toileting out and about there is often much less to carry than with a nappy-wearing baby. In the rare instances that there is no bathroom nearby but you know your baby has to go you could cue your baby in their nappy, then find a place to change soon afterwards.