Toilet training Tips (FAQ)

This is a FAQ post.  These are the most popular answers to a real question asked on The Imperfect Mum. 

Our little one was toilet trained, but has since started going backwards and refusing to go unless it is in a nappy. Help!! We are trying to go cold turkey, but I’m ready to give up… Any tips or advice?

Nellie: Our son would only ever poo in a nappy till he was almost 4. We tried cold turkey nappy free and he held it in for 5 days! It was traumatic for us all. In the end a friend said to us… ‘How many 15 year olds do you know still pooing in nappies?’ She was right. We stopped pressuring him and one day just a few weeks later he decided he was big enough to not have nappies anymore. Good luck. We know it is frustrating but know that this too will pass.

Toni: Keep going don’t go backwards – Nappies Gone!

Sara: When we trained by DD we brought undies with her favorite character on them (Elmo) and asked her not to wee on Elmo as Elmo doesn’t like it. Worked for us. Good luck.

Nickey: My second was the same. Didn’t use the toilet till he was nearly 4!! It took a flood and a story about the nappy factory flooding and all the nappies washed away until he happily used the toilet.

Michelle: Have someone with a child that is toilet trained come over to your house if they see another child doing it they usually want to do it too. Don’t get frustrated they will do it when they’re ready. After having child number 3 u realise they’re all different and u can’t make them do something they don’t want to do. Just help her out and give her praise when she goes to the toilet. Goodluck

Rochelle: A couple of things that worked for us: put the nappies back on and forget about it for another couple weeks. Just don’t mention it! We also organised for a friend to pretend to be their fave character. Eg; Thomas, Tinkerbell, Roary etc. when we had success we rang for them to praise. But the other thing I learnt was to cut a hole in the nappy and let them sit on the loo like that. Sometimes they like the secure feeling of having something around their waste. Progressively make the hole larger until they basically just have the tabs around them lol. But don’t panic. She’ll get there.

Jodie: I allowed my children to train when they were ready. My oldest was four, my second was 3.5 and my youngest trained at 3. Easy peasy when kids are ready.

Yakira: My son refuses to pee on the toilet or potty sitting or standing, he is only 25months though. But for a week we have been doing ‘cold turkey’ too. I know it’s a bit different for girls and its not ideal but he will happily go out onto the grass and pee just won’t on toilets so for now I’m taking that. He will pee on toilets when out so I don’t really mind, I swear they just don’t like doing what we want them to do.

Buffy: My son actually has medical issues and I’m still trying. Here are some tips that our paediatrician has given us. 10 minutes after every meal, sit them on the toilet and give them a balloon to blow up, bubbles to blow, sssssss like a snake, or a recorder to play. It will loosen all the muscles and she won’t be able to hold on. Good luck

Pauline: Why are you pushing her? Kids usually toilet train well when they are ready, not when you are. Just because you decided you want it done now doesn’t mean she agrees.

Posted in:  Baby & Toddler, Potty Training, Kids, FAQ

1 Replies


I HATE toilettraining. My son is now 3 years old alnd refuses to give up his nappy. Once I tried to take it of him but firstly he held everything in till he had his nappy back and secondly he got REALLY upset. I think that I should leave it until he desides that its time for him to use the toilet but I can feel the pressure coming from daycare and other mums. It apears that every other child is toilettrained by the age of 3 just not my son and I get lots and lots of well ment "good" advice that just makes me feel worse. I don't mind changing him and I don't mind spending money on nappies, and I try to apear self confident with the way I do things... but I AM NOT. I feel like crying and I feel like I am failing.