If you think your child might be ready, potty training in the summer is so much easier than winter - no tights or long trousers to wrestle with!
Emily says: "There's barely an inch of my local high road that I haven't graced with a potty and a desperate toddler. Strolling around with a potty permanently to hand did, eventually, work, but was a little infra-dig for both me and my little one."
The process of potty training can be an anxious and difficult time, but it doesn't have to be too stressful, provided you have realistic expectations at the outset, plenty of time and lots of patience. Remember "There's no long term benefit to having a potty prodigy!"
Remember the time that children are 'ready' varies enormously. Some children may be dry during the day at 2 years old (although this is quite early). By 3 years old, many children will be dry most days, although accidents will still happen and by 4 years old, the majority of children will be dry. Becoming dry overnight takes longer but will usually happen at some stage between 3 and 5 years.
Paul says: "We used to look out for my son's 'poo-face' - he'd stop what he was doing and a slight frowny look of concentration would come across his face, then it was all hands on deck, whip the potty out and trousers down. In time, he learnt to recognise it too."
It is usually best to start toilet training when the following begin to occur:
Robin says: "We tried it in the winter. It was a nightmare, fighting with tights and coats and we kept missing the moment, so we gave up and tried again a few months later when it was warmer and just pants to deal with. It was so much easier and quicker and I think she was really ready this time."
Harry says: "My daughter was frightened by the big loo and worried she'd fall in and get flushed away. A smaller seat on top & lots of encouragement and watching us helped her to feel more secure however we did once find her trying to 'wee like a boy-standing up' - which took a biot of explaining!"
Keep it light and fun!
Encourage, praise and even reward successful stages: announcing they need their potty ahead of time, successfully using the potty, staying dry for a whole day, the night etc
Show how pleased and proud you are of them for these achievements
Accept the process generally takes weeks or months, not days and expect it will involve periods of regression
Get cross or show your frustration when they have accidents. It's normal!
Take too much notice of well-meaning relatives or friends who may offer conflicting advice and opinions
Expect them to be able to wipe their bottoms properly too - at least initially - just 'going' is enough
Start potty training at a stressful or disruptive time like the arrival of a sibling, moving house or when they are sick
Mo says: "We started with a potty first thing in the morning by her bed and each night in front of In The Night Garden. My daughter used to sit there for half an hour, relaxed and not concentrating too much, and by the end of the show there was a deposit!"