Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Nicolene van der Merwe | 2010/01/26


potty training

how do I potty train my son?

Expert's Reply



Please look for advice on our parenting line as well as on Google.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2010/01/26

Personally, I found the best way of doing this was to wait until my son asked to wear underpants.
He did this just before his third birthday (about 6 weeks before he turned 3).
Over the next year he had an occassional accident if he was really engrossed in a game he was playing, but apart from that we didn' t have any problems.

Some children don' t like standing to wee and some don' t like sitting to wee. I got my son a stool to stand on and I also got one of those soft seats that fits into the toilet.
He only started to poo in the toilet after about 3 months. Many children ask to wear a nappy when they need to poo for quite a while after managing the loo for wees. This is normal and provided you don' t make a fuss, they just happily start pooing in the toilet one day.

Girls tend to ask to wear panties somewhere round two or two and a half and boys tend to ask for underpants somewhere around two and a half to three and a half.

Most children wear a night nappy for about a year after they are potty trained during the day. When my son asked to go without his nappy at night, he was still waking with a wet nappy most mornings. I told him that when he started waking at night to wee or waking with a dry nappy and weeing in the toilet when he woke up and did this for a whole week we' d take the nappy off. About 2 months later this happened and he reminded me of my promise (which trust me, I had remembered), so I bought waterproof covers for his matrasses - the kind with the soft side, and we gave it a go. I didn' t cut his fluids down before bed time as I don' t beleive in doing this unless your child is still wetting the bed at primary school. We had about one wet bed a week for a couple of weeks and then there was the occassional wet bed every few months for about a year and then it just stopped. Throughout this time, he would ocassionally wake for a wee during the night. I find that if he says he' s had a scary dream, he usually needs a wee, and even at 5 I have to ask him if he needs a wee if he wakes from a nightmare.

If you try to potty train before your child is ready, all you are really doing is getting yourself well trained into timing when he needs the loo - which is usually a wee about 20 minutes after drinking something.

IF you think your son is old enough to potty train but he' s showing no interest, then let him play outdoors without a nappy on, and give him lots and lots of water and juice to drink. Then, when he does wee, he' ll feel it and see it and connect the feeling of a full bladder with the wee coming out, and it might just get his little mind thinking.

In the early months after he started wearing undies, if we had a long car trip to make, and for his afternoon sleep I used to put a pair of pull ups on him and I told him they were big boy sleeping shorts. On the car journeys he would insist we stopped for him to wee, so I gave that one up. He only wet his sleeping one once, so I stopped that and just put one of those nappy changing disposable sheets under him for a few more weeks, but we never really had an accident at those times.

Hope my little story is helpful for you.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Jojo | 2010/01/26

Whould be good if you could advise the age of your son perhaps?

Reply to Jojo

Want to comment?

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.