How We Blitzed Toilet Training

How we blitzed toilet training
One of my biggest worries apart from ditching the dummy was how difficult toilet training would be. I’d heard so many different stories about girls being easier than boys to toilet train, the accidents involved, the tantrums…you name it. I’d heard people say they dedicated a week to being at home just to toilet train. It sounded like a pretty monumental task.

As a first-time toilet training mum, all I could do was take on other people’s advice and give it a shot. So we started when I thought Elliott was ready but, he wasn’t. It didn’t go well and I didn’t push it.

I wasn’t in a rush to toilet train Elliott and decided that I would wait until I saw more signs that he was, in fact, ready. I wasn’t sure if the signs would be obvious or what they would be but, to my delight, the signs were as plain as day.

Signs that Elliott was ready for toilet training:

  • He hated wearing a nappy, especially when it was full
  • He often took his nappy off by himself
  • He started showing interest in the toilet – looking at the toilet, flushing the toilet
  • He started taking himself to the toilet or asking to use the toilet

Once Elliott showed these signs, toilet training was soon in full swing and Elliott was pretty much toilet trained within a few days. The night time sleeps were a work in progress using nappy pants and eventually none, but it was also a quick and relatively easy process.

Yes, there were a few accidents during the process, but nothing major. Elliott simply got to a point where he knew the feeling and went by himself and the rest is history. Oh, how I loved the sound of a flushing toilet!

Obviously, every child is different when it comes to this type of thing, but I guess the one piece of advice I can give to Mums wondering when to start toilet training for the first time is, just wait until they’re ready. I hear so many people say they’re going to toilet train their children when they are still so young and I ask myself, why? Is it purely the convenience to the parent or is it for the child?

Wait until they’re ready I say, wait until you see the signs and then it will be a relatively smooth and easy process for everyone involved. And my other piece of advice, when they have accidents try not to get angry or frustrated, tell them it’s ok and give them words of encouragement. When they do get it right, praise is the most important thing.

How did toilet training go in your house? Do you have any advice for first-time toilet training mums?




Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman. She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a freelance writer, a social media manager, a Mum to her six-year-old son, one-year-old daughter, six chickens and Benny the dog and wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little worker's cottage in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.
Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

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  1. February 9, 2015 / 6:50 am

    I agree with waiting until they are really ready for it. I had people telling me to start training Liam when he was 18months old but I knew he was in NO WAY close to being ready for it. I followed a similar technique to you and he was out of nappies during the day within 3 weeks. Overnight is still a bit hit and miss, we have occasional accidents but I like to think we are getting there!

    • February 10, 2015 / 10:31 pm

      Yeah, personally I think 18 months is too young. Overnight, well I think I have to prepare myself for that!

  2. February 9, 2015 / 7:10 am

    All my kids have been toilet trained at different ages: From two to 3.5 years and beyond. I never understand the rush of some parents to get them out of nappies. There’s nothing worse than running to the loo constantly when you’re out because of junior’s little bladder! (Or worse!) Nappies are convenient and I am a baby-led toilet trainer! (Your site has crashed several times on me while trying to leave this comment this morning??)

    • February 10, 2015 / 10:32 pm

      Yep, baby-led toilet training all the way here. I didn’t know what I was doing at the beginning, but now it’s done, this is what I’d recommend. Sorry about my site, possibly something with the host.

  3. Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect
    February 9, 2015 / 8:26 am

    Each child I relaxed more and more. My first child was a freak.. on her 2nd birthday she sat on the potty, did her business and never looked back. I thought this toilet training business was easy. my second did her business all over Melbourne for 5 months of complete stress. Thats when I learned, until the child is ready, it only causes heartache, stress for everyone. My boys trained at a later age and no one cared.

    • February 10, 2015 / 10:33 pm

      No, you know what is freakish? I saw on TV a mother who was toilet training her baby!

  4. February 9, 2015 / 8:52 am

    Perfect advice Eva. Definitely wait until they are ready. I started a little too early with my eldest daughter and there was plenty of frustration and the whole process seemed to take a very long time. Second time round I waited a little longer and the whole experience was more relaxed and my daughter was toilet trained pretty quickly, both day and night. As soon as she started showing signs of being dryer longer between nappy changes I just started encouraging her to go the toilet, talking about being a big girl and not needing nappies anymore and letting her pick out her first set of undies.

    • February 10, 2015 / 10:34 pm

      Thanks Erika. I will say that I too started too early and it wasn’t until I realised that it was too early and he wasn’t ready that I stopped and waited. I just hope my experience may help other parents having a bit of a stressful time with it, there’s really no need to hurry these types of things!

  5. February 9, 2015 / 10:31 am

    Sounds like you have it under control. Great advice and tips here. So much better when they are toilet trained rather than changing nappies!

    • February 10, 2015 / 10:34 pm

      Thanks Cindy!

  6. February 9, 2015 / 3:38 pm

    Absolutely agree with this. We did the same with Punky. We bought a potty when she was 18 months and talked about what it was for, let her sit on it whenever she wanted, but it wasn’t until just before she was three that she really got to a point where I thought we could ditch the daytime nappies for good (she was sporadic and some days would use the toilet heaps, other days didn’t want a bar of it, up until that point), but it really helped that they were starting to use the toilet at preschool. So one day I just said ok Punky, it’s time to wear your undies and that was that, she didn’t look back. There were (and still are every now and then) accidents but mostly because she didn’t want to stop what she was doing to go to the toilet, which I can totally understand!

    We haven’t started on the night training yet, she still wakes up wet but I know she will get it when she is ready. Night time is so much harder to learn because there is even more for them to grasp in terms of waking themselves up, etc, but it will happen one day and I’m not stressed about it.

    I must admit I can’t wait till Zee is toilet trained and we can say good bye to daytime nappies for good!

    • February 10, 2015 / 10:35 pm

      Oh, night training! That’s a whole different ballgame to me. I must prepare myself. Watch this space!

  7. Tash from Gift Grapevine
    February 9, 2015 / 4:19 pm

    Spot on Eva – waiting is definitely the way to go! I started too early with Miss TT mainly due to pressure from other people saying “she should be toilet trained by now”. Every child is different. “Whatever works” is my mantra now. Mr TT (age 2.5) is showing no interest so I’m waiting until he starts showing the signs. I must admit that I can’t wait to stop buying nappies. It will make the grocery bill and shopping trolley a little lighter 🙂

    • February 10, 2015 / 10:35 pm

      Totally agree, every child is different. It’s great having to buy fewer nappies!

  8. February 9, 2015 / 9:45 pm

    I’m dreading toilet training. Shes just started to point at the toilet every time I go in there now like she has a better understanding of it, but I don’t think we’re ready for toilet training yet because she still doesn’t talk much and I’d rather wait until she can communicate with me better. I am considering buying a potty though and putting it in the toilet so she can get used to it or sit on it when I go to the toilet (she always walks in with me).

    • February 10, 2015 / 10:36 pm

      Don’t dread it! Perhaps just try with the potty and let her discover it and try in her own time, she may or may not show other signs. You will know.