I'm a parenting pro and there are six things to avoid when potty training stubborn tots | The Sun

POTTY training your little ones is sometimes easier said than done.

It seems no matter what method you try they can't bare to part with their nappies.

Emma Hubbard is a Paediatric occupational therapist and she revealed the major mistakes parents always make when it's time to begin potty training.

She explained: "Parent's don't know they're making mistakes because they're following advice given to them by friends or family which is based on myths or old wives tales."

According to the pro, "once you know what these mistakes are and know how to avoid them potty training your child is going to be so much easier."

Taking them to the loo too often

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Emma explained that around the age 18 months – two years their bladder gets bigger, meaning they can stay dry for around two hours.

She said: "If you're taking your child to the toilet every 30 minutes, every hour or every hour and a half, what you're asking them to do is empty a partially full bladder.

"This isn't a skill they have at this age and they're not going to have it few a few years to come."

Instead, only take your tot to the toilet every two hours.

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Sitting on the loo for too long

Emma said: "Your child should only sit on the toilet for a maximum of five minutes."

This is because sitting on the loo can be seen as a bit of a punishment if they're made to sit for for ages.

According to the parenting pro, letting your child sit on the potty for a long time while doing other things like watching tv is a big no-no.

"They aren't actually working on that overall skill," she explained.

Asking if they want to go to the toilet

There are two reasons asking your tot if they want to go to the loo doesn't work.

Firstly because they don't really know what it feels like to need to go yet.

They also aren't going to want to leave whatever fun activity they're doing to go and be bored on the toilet.

Instead, look for the signs that they need to go, like holding their legs together, and "rephrase it as 'it's toilet time', that essentially doesn't give them the option to say no," Emma said.

Potty training and wearing nappies

Emma revealed: "For your child to successfully toilet train they need to know what it feels like to be wet.

"Unfortunately, pull-ups and nappies are too good at absorbing away the moisture and it doesn't cause your little one any discomfort."

One handy trick is to put underwear inside their nappies or pull-up, so they can still experience the wet sensation without making a mess.

Overreacting to accidents

Accidents happen – it's all part of the process.

"What's important to know is they way you react to those accidents can have a huge impact on how successful potty training is," the pro said.

Try to avoid getting annoyed when your tot makes a mess and stay calm, otherwise they might end up fearing using the toilet altogether.

Pushing for potty poos

It's actually pretty common for kids to use a potty or toilet for a wee but not a poo.

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It's just something that will develop overtime according to Emma, who said: "If you force your child to sit on the toilet until they do a poo, it can lead to them holding that poo in, which then leads to constipation."

Try giving them an alternative, like offering them a nappy, but only letting them use it in the bathroom.

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