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Toilet training - how do I start potty training my child?

1.    Your child can only be toilet trained if he or she is ready. You can start when your child is 18 months to 2 years of age but don’t worry if it takes longer than you expected.
2.    Look out for signs that indicate that your child is weeing in his or her nappy. There’s usually a pattern. You should also look out for all kinds of signs, such as standing with their legs apart, crying or suddenly running around. Use these signs to put the child on the potty. Did you know that most children do not wee in their sleep but when they wake up. If you anticipate this, you can teach your child to go on the potty in the morning when he or she wakes up.
3.    Give your child enough time to go on the potty. Don’t force anything. Put you child next to you when you go to the toilet so he or she can see how to do it. Children may be afraid because ‘something that came out of their body is in the potty’. Reassure them that this is normal and it happens to all people and animals.

4.    Teach your child to squat with their legs apart. This helps them adopt a comfortable position to wee and poo.
5.    Dress your child in comfortable clothes that he or she can put on and off easily and that you can also remove without too much trouble. It would be a shame if your child wants to use the potty but can't take its clothes off on time!
6.    Ask your crèche or your baby minder how they deal with toilet training. They speak from experience and will be pleased to give advice. In addition, they can tell you about your child’s potty habits and you can continue the pattern at home.
7.    Don’t be angry when an accident happens. That's quite normal. Shouting or punishing only makes your child feel insecure.
8.    Empty the potty in the toilet while your child is watching and let him or her flush the toilet. This helps your child understand the connection between the toilet and the potty.
9.    Make sure you have a special over-the-toilet seat when your child decides to go on the ‘big toilet’. Hanging through the toilet seat is bad for his or her bowels.
10.    See a doctor or a specialist if you are worried.