Build a Routine
Once you are underway, you can get more consistent by building toileting opportunities into your existing routines, for example:
"When baby wakes up, I will offer the potty"
"After I every nap, I will first offer the potty, then nurse"
"During every morning nappy change, I will offer the potty"
"Before going in the high-chair, 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 baby crawls toward me, crying for no likely reason, I will offer"
This 'new' habit of holding baby in position over something 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 baby doesn'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... as per handout.
If your baby doesn't like to be held in a certain way, consider trying a new location or investing in a new type of potty or try a different position potty-hold. If you run into any difficulties we encourage you to check out our FAQ's or other 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.
Newborns pee frequently and are generally sensitive to a wetness so if you aren't able to change their nappy or potty them frequently at night then you'll want a feel-dry nappy to improve your chances at long stretches of sleep.
A fact worth knowing is that babies, 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, newborns 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.
Interrupted sleep is a way of life with babies, 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 there is a chance of knocking over the potty in the dark try putting 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
Some babies are quickly comfortable in the outside world, while others are very sensitive and require protection from over-stimulation when away from the comfort of home (this is where babycarrying works wonders).
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 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. You can take a potty with you or just have a well practiced hold you can use over any toilet or sink.
Keep an eye on whether they seem to be sensitive to toileting somewhere new. 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.