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A Potty Training Expert Answers Your Questions

Missed our Wednesday Lunch Club with potty training expert Fi Star-Stone? Not to worry, you can catch up on all the advice she shared here

Every week at Mother&Baby bring you the Wednesday Lunch Club – a chance to get brilliant advice for your parenting questions from a top expert.

This week, childcare expert Fi Star-Stone was on standby to answer your questions.



Mum-of-two Fi is a qualified nursery nurse with over 22 years experience and a broadcaster, blogger and editor of the parenting site Childcare Is Fun and author of The Baby Bedtime Book. Her qualifications include two Diplomas (one in Nursery Nursing and one in Childhood Studies) and a Degree in Childhood and Youth studies. Fi also has training certificates in baby sign, sleep training, sports for children, science for children, special needs training and breastfeeding support.

If you missed the chat, here’s what happened…

My little one will only use a nappy for poo's – help!

Fi: I often say 'poo is special' and it really is. It's a huge moment when they manage to poo on the toilet. It's quite a different feeling to going in a nappy or pull-ups.

I'd suggest going to the toilet when he needs a poo and letting him do it in his nappy there either standing by or ideally sitting on the loo and gradually progress from that. Try not to worry – it’s a hugely common issue and a question I get asked quite a lot through my free parenting advice service.

READ: BEST POTTY TRAINING PRODUCTS - THE MOTHER&BABY AWARDS SHORTLIST

Although he still wakes up wet every morning, my three-year-old son doesn’t want to wear his nighttime nappy and tries to take it off all the time. Should I start waking him up to go to the bathroom?

Fi: Taking his nappy off is a sign he's ready to try nighttime toilet training. Nighttime toilet training is quite different from daytime training, and many little ones take quite some time to be dry at night. Every child is different!

Just because they are dry and have been dry during the day for quite some time, it doesn’t mean they should be dry at night. I lift my two when I go to bed because they are very deep sleepers and if I don't lift them they likely have an accident. Invest in a good mattress protector or bed mat. Also if he really hates nappies – try some pull-up style night pants. They have characters on them and hold more fluid than nappies for older children.

READ: 14 THINGS THAT WILL PROBABLY HAPPEN WHEN YOU'RE POTTY TRAINING

My son was three last October and has no interest in potty training. He knows how to count up to 30, say the alphabet and several words for each letter and is very social, outgoing and curious. But he hides the potty, hates the toilet and we cannot even mention the subject. I wanted him to start nursery next year but I am starting to feel like a failure. Any advice please?

Fi: Firstly, you are not a failure. I've said above (and always say) it's a child not an age thing and there's no point starting until little one is truly ready. It makes it more stressful and messy than it needs to be.

Like all stages of development, it’s not a competition. Don’t panic if your child is still in nappies when others are not, especially if they are still very young.


In my experience toilet training starts between 2.5 years to 3.5, sometimes even past four years. That’s a big age difference so stop worrying. Start looking at toilet training books (my favourite is 'The mole who knew it was none of his business') and also chat about going to the toilet. It'll get him thinking and associating going to the toilet with the physical feeling of weeing and pooping.


READ: HOW TO POTTY TRAIN IN A WEEK

My son, who’s three, got really good at using the potty but has recently had lots of accidents, even when we're in the house. He also does it when I've got cross at him or he's been naughty so I wonder if It's a behaviour thing?

Fi: Little ones can have accidents when they’re cross or worried, they also have lots of accidents if they are just not ready. Let’s face it, poos and wees in pants are no fun to change, and no fun to feel if you’re small! So don’t make it into a big deal if accidents happen.



Have you tried using the toilet instead of the potty? Sometimes once the novelty of toilet training has worn off, they get bored, so it's all about putting the fun back into it! Make it more fun by buying Favourite TV characters pants, colours or anything fabulous as these can often discourage accidents.

Talk about the pants, too. For example ‘Let’s remember not to wet Bob the builder on your pants’.

Finally, try not to worry, toilet training can often be a tricky time – by keeping your cool and making it fun with lots of rewards and praise and making going to the loo exciting, it'll make it less stressy for the both of you!

READ: THE DOS AND DON'TS FOR BEDWETTING

My son is almost three and he’s potty trained from two years and seven months in regards to weeing but he won’t poo on the toilet and runs around on tiptoes asking for a nappy and will get very upset if he is asked to use toilet. We have let him use the nappy as don’t want to make it a big issue but will he just use the toilet for poo when he is ready?

Fi: You're doing the right thing! I often say 'poo is special' and it really is. It's a huge moment when they manage to poop on the toilet. It's quite a different feeling to going in a nappy/pull ups. I'd suggest going to the toilet when he needs a poo and letting him do it in his nappy there either standing by or ideally sitting on the loo and gradually progress from that. Try not to worry – it’s a hugely common issue.

 
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