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Parenting pro Dee Booth gives her potty training tips

When is my child ready to potty train, and more questions answered

Toilet training doesn't need to be messy or stressful if you get the timing right. And contrary to popular belief, you can always go back to nappies or pull-ups if you get it wrong. In the meantime, here is my potty training advice…

1. Parents always ask me when to start potty training, and the answer is that some toddlers are ready before they are two years old, and others aren't ready until they’re closer to four. It's better to wait until your child is ready to use a potty rather than doing it too soon and spending weeks or months having accidents. 

2. Disposable nappies are so good at keeping moisture away from the skin, it can take a while for some toddlers to make the connections needed for potty training. Be patient and look for signs that show that your toddler is starting to understand what's going on in their nappy. 

3. Some toddlers respond really well to being reminded every half hour to sit on the potty and being rewarded for a successful shot. So a potty in every room with a bag of chocolate buttons beside it will work a treat. 

4. For those toddlers who prefer to be in control, put them in pants, show them the potty or toilet training seat in the morning and suggest they use it. When they do, reward them with a hug. 

5. Being dry at night will happen when your child starts to produce the ADH - anti diuretic hormone - that turns off the taps that fill the bladder while they sleep. Until they are producing it, you will not get them dry in the night. So check their nappy every few weeks, before they wake up, to see of it’s dry, as some lazy toddlers will wake and then pee, disguising the fact that they didn't go during the night.

6. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to potty train, it's not a competition (although some mothers will have you think it is) and they all get there in the end.

:: Dee Booth runs The Sleep Fairy & Parent Rescue