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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Eight toilet training tips to get you out alive

Eight toilet training tips to get you out alive with Dr Ranj's Poo Song

Another potty training blog? You ask.

Yup. I'm aware I've already shared my potty training disasters with you. Sorry about that, but as any blogger will know, I have to work with what I have. And what I currently have in abundance are stories about wee.

It's generally going quite well. Relatively speaking. We are pretty much home and dry... Today we had to dash into a McDonalds on very short notice for a McWee and it might have been just a teensy bit late (for her, not me) but we are definitely on the home stretch.

So now, I want to be smug while I still can, and thus I offer you my actual, genuine top tips for potty training. Real ones, I promise.

1. Wait

So you were potty trained out of the womb and you have a whole room full of potties thanks to well-meaning relatives, your kid is nearly three and of course the entire NCT group have been out of nappies forever?
Useful kit

...So? It's not a competition, right?

Now I'm not advocating putting it off if indeed they are ready, and certainly you need to get around to this well before they're at school, but there is no need to steam ahead because you think they should be ready. We tried at Christmas, after the big one had just turned two. It was fairly successful in that she could hold in her wee for a few hours and generally do it on or at least near a potty, if one happened to be close.

What she couldn't do was remove her own clothing 100% of the time. With a sleep-fighting baby to get down for a nap twice a day, sometimes I couldn't be there to help her and this did not end well.

So we just gave up. Pretended the last week hadn't happened, back into nappies. Best decision we could have made. Fast forward six months and within a few days, she was virtually accident free.

2) Do it in the summer

Naked bums mean less washing - hurrah! - and being outside means less reasons to crack out this bad boy (and FYI cleaning your carpets in the winter is a bloody stupid idea, as they NEVER DRY and then smell of wet dog for weeks).

3) Get the right equipment

Singing potties are all well and good until the batteries start to go and they start singing in the middle of the night. This happened a long time before attempt number two at potty training (ironically making me shit myself quite often) and we never bothered to replace them.

However you really should get yourself one of these.

I don't know how people coped before this, I really don't. Behold, the Potette Plus travel potty.

Not much to look at maybe, but this will be your best buddy in the potty training jungle. A potty and toilet seat in one, and small enough to put in a change bag.

You can use liners (which are basically plastic bags) but don't bother; they are insanely expensive. Make your own from a supermarket plastic bag (make sure it's one without holes in it...) and cheap maternity towels.

Pro tip: Don't leave bags of wee in the car on hot days.

4. Bribery

All the experts advise against it, presumably in case you end up with a teenager who will only go for a wee for Smarties, but if you ever want to leave the house on time at some point you may have to crack out the chocolate. Peppa Pig sticker books are all well and good but when it comes to persuading a toddler to wee on demand they just don't have the power of sweets.

5. Get ready to chat about poo

You will spend an inordinate amount of time discussing bodily functions, so just ready yourself for that; it's unavoidable. If you haven't yet read 'Poo Goes Home to Pooland' you have a delight in store. The episode of 'Get Well Soon' with Dr Ranj singing about how to do a poo is a masterpiece.

I'm too bloody good to you; here you go. Enjoy:

6. Forget about dignity

It is totally acceptable for a toddler to talk at length about weeing and pooing in public and that includes public toilets. MUMMY ARE YOU HAVING A WEE? MUMMY IT'S A BIG WEE WEE! IS IT A POO?

7. Get some Nora Knickers

Otherwise known as the humble Huggies night time pull-up. So-called because they have Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty and yes I've just realised the connection) on them and the toddler couldn't say Aurora so called her Nora, which is a very fitting name for a beautiful princess.
A lot of people experienced in the art of potty training will tell you not to use pull ups during the day as they are similar to nappies and confusing for them, but now she is trained they're not a bad idea for long journeys just in case we can't stop in the middle of the motorway on demand, as has been known to happen. Car seat covers are not as easily removable (or, more accurately, put-back-onable) as they really ought to be.
And even though she is now dry most nights, at the moment she still gets her Nora knickers on at bedtime. I love our bunkbeds, but changing sheets is a pain in the arse.

Last week it all took a bit of a turn towards the unknown when I went in to check on the sleeping Whingelets and found a cheeky toddler bottom sticking out of the covers (chilly!) and, upon inspection, her Nora knickers discarded on the floor. That night, like two nappy-toting ninjas, my husband and I got her out of bed, popped on a new one and placed her back into the top bunk without even waking her.

8) Give soft play a wide berth

For reasons that are outlined here.

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Liked this?

Potty training tips from the front line. Some actually helpful advice, plus Dr Ranj singing about poo. Yep. If you are toilet training your toddler then check it out!
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  1. Haha love this - Nora knickers ;-) Great tips, my sister in law tells me that bribery worked for her too...17 Pringles later and he was dry. Must save this for when we're going through it too xx #triballove

    1. Wow only 17 pringles! That leaves most of a packet left for a victory snack!

  2. Now if you could get Mr Bloom to sing about poo I'll be in heaven.

  3. Replies
    1. You've literally ruined my life by showing me this song. 5 days it's been stuck in my head. 5 days. #chucklemums

  4. We haven't gone through potty training yet, but I know the only thing that worked on my when I was small was M&Ms. I'll be sure to stock up on sweets when the time comes. #chucklemums

  5. Brilliant. Bribery is the one thing that seems to work for me during the varying success I have. Oh and lots of praise. More praise than I ever thought I had to possibly give.
    I'm off work for 10 days soon so am going to have one last ditch attempt. Well, I don't mean 1 last ditch. I'll keep at it of course. Where's the wine? #chucklemums

  6. Gawd the shame of the soft play incident...yep, we went there...I was too confident. Everyone saw. #chucklemums

  7. Bookmarking this for the near future. Thankfully, with Charles being in nursery full time, it will mostly be up to the nannies to sort out for me. We're 2.3 years now and not yet ready. Thanks for the tips #chucklemums

  8. I almost wish I had a pre potty training toddler again. Almost! I think you made the most sensible-ist comment about P training that it is quite important that they can undress/dress themselves a bit and if they can't it's going to be a whole lot harder. Back in my day we had to take a bog standard potty everywhere and hope it didn't slosh about too much in the boot after usage! #chucklemums

  9. Hahah. Potty training is literally the only thing the boy never gave us any trouble over. Waited til the week before he was 3 and it only took a few days. He wasn't dry at night for a lot longer, but I think that's fairly normal for boys! #chucklemums

  10. Great tips. I'm especially enjoying the first one. Apparently my brothers and I were potty trained out of the womb and my mother cannot resist a dig at me on a daily basis for Piglet not being trained yet. Argh! #chucklemums

  11. I swear I have tried everything with the twins and they could not be more uninterested. They turned two in May. The only thing I can think of is to say f**k it and try again in a few months. I have literally told them I would buy them every Peppa Pig toy on the planet and a lifetime supply of cookies...nothing.


  12. Bribery all the way! We had a 'special' bag of sweets, just for potty activity. Worked wonders :) #chucklemums

  13. Aargh thanks for reminding me about the hell that is potty training. I'm in denial of the fact it's around the corner..again. Maybe next Summer eh? (SEND WINE!)
    Thanks for hosting #chucklemums!

  14. Oh god. I'm going to have to do this all over again ������

  15. Excellent, I find bribery my best parenting tactic! My son was actually really easy to potty train, we are close to starting with with daughter but she has other ideas so could be a challenging one, I'll definitely have treats at the ready x

  16. Argh I was going to start potty training my daughter after Christmas just after she turns 2, but maybe I'll wait til the summer. Thanks for letting me know about the Potette Plus - who knew such things existed? Will definitely be buying one of those when the time comes, as well as stocking up on Nora Knickers (just because I like the name!) #chucklemums

  17. I'd quite like a travel potty for my bedside, tbh... Although I think that's called a commode? #Chucklemums

  18. these are great tips! I was "lucky" enough to be around my little niece during summer holidays in Barcelona while she was in that stage of potty training...and yes, I had forgotten all the glamour about it! one more tip to add: make sure their bottom is well cleaned before you sit them on your lap..:S LOL

  19. Mine are now 12, 9 and 6 so potty training days are far behind us although believe it or not two of them have only just got out of night time nappies (yep you read that right) because it was just so much hassle and I was totally laid back about it after several friends told me their kids wore them for years at night. Probably a bit too laid back. 'Thanks' to an overbearing younger sister who is apparently mother of the year (#bitchyme) they are now out of them as she took charge of the situation during a visit this summer.
    On a lighter note, oh my God, the teenager smartie reference and the McWee. Thanks for making me snort in the middle of a cafe where believe it or not an AbPrab follower is sitting not far from me constantly looking over at me typing. Now he's watching me type and snort. #chucklemums

  20. Well done! One down, one to go...a boy...good luck! (joking of course...I wouldn't know!) Alison x #chucklemums

  21. You can never write about wee too much. To be honest I will be disappointed when you have finished potty training. #chucklemums

  22. You have Nora Knickers. We have Queen Pants (they have Lightening McQueen on them).

  23. I loved out potette travel potty! They're so much better than doing the dangle and hang maneuver at the side of the road which always results in pee on your shoes. Never thought about making my own inserts for it though - great tip! I'll be on this when we start with The Boy later in the year! Thanks for hosting #chucklemums hon x

  24. Ahh the 'poo' song! I definitely agree with summer being best. I had laminate at the old house so it wasn't such a problem for Emma but everywhere has carpets here so I'm not even going to bother 'til I move!


    (accidentalhipstermum.com it's my other email ID giving me a silly name again)

  25. Glad to be past these times, but wondering when the clean wipe comes about? Any body out there with a good answer?

  26. Some really fantastic advice here, it was a breeze with Number One, I can't imagine Number Two will be as easy!


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