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How Often to Encourage your Child to Use the Potty During the Day

Whenever it comes to mastering a milestone, every parent faces that struggle between being encouraging and pushing too hard. There is no hard and fast rule for such situations which will depend on multiple factors, including how long you have been trying to accomplish the milestone and how sensitive your child is.

While some children respond very well to encouragement, even when it is frequent, others will retreat and regress if they feel under pressure.

That being said, we are very well-versed in toilet training encouragement and are pleased to provide - with this post – some key guidelines for how to help your child during the process.

The Early Stages of Training

One of the biggest toilet training questions is “How often should I encourage my child to use the toilet during the day?” Some parents wonder whether they should wait for their child to announce a need to use the potty but that will come with time and progress.

In the earlier stages of training, it is usually up to you to look for the signs or gently remind your child that they might need to go.

Get to know their schedule and the key times that they might need to go to the toilet. This will usually be a short time after any drink, meal or snack, as well as on first waking up and just before bed.

It may also prove very useful to create a routine. Some children work well with a routine and others don’t – trust in the fact that you know your child and what is best for them. A routine will help your child know what to expect and also avoid that major potty-training enemy – constipation. If your child is very active, we would suggest providing a gentle reminder every hour or so in the earlier stages of training.

Judge the situation and how well your child is listening to you because sometimes you may need to pick them up and physically put them on the toilet to get their attention. That’s totally fine – it’s just up to you to determine whether it is necessary and ensure that you are being firm and not pushy. Once they are on the loo, keep them focused with a song, book or simply by having a chat.

Overcome with Emotions

When they are very overexcited, overtired or distracted – such as playing with their siblings or a friend, during a fun day out or at a busy family event – your child may often just forget that they need to use the toilet. These are the times when your child’s emotions overcome them, and you will need to step in and give a reminder.

It is also common for accidents to happen on these occasions. The key with getting the encouragement just right is that you want to avoid accidents at all costs and minimise the risk of regression. Keep a watchful eye on your child and an eye on the clock to know when it is best to suggest a trip to the toilet.

You also need to remember that he or she may not want to use the toilet even if they need to. For toddlers playing games with their friends, the last thing they want is to leave the fun – even for a few minutes – to go to the bathroom with an adult. Don’t be afraid to ask two or three times and always use a tone that is calm but firm to get their attention.

And don’t forget, the vast majority of children will experience setbacks during their toilet training. This is all par for the course and as long as you work out what is best for you and your child, then you’re on the road for success.


For advice on any aspect of potty training and for any help purchasing a Family Seat, email our team at . Family Seat supports the children’s communication charity I CAN, who are experts in helping children to develop the language, speech and communication skills that they need to thrive in our 21st-century world.  We donate 50p to I CAN on each and every seat purchased through the official Family Seat website.


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