How do I wean my child off nappies?

Parents generally have to wait a long time until their child is able to go to the toilet by themselves. It´s no fun having to change diapers around the clock, as well as having to constantly buy diapers, which can be expensive in the long run. However there is also a lot that needs to be considered regarding potty training.

So let’s go! On with the fight!

Parents have no problem going to the toilet; when you need to go you just go. But it can take a long time until a child is able to do so by themselves. It must be clear to everyone that until now this isn’t something your little one has really thought about; they just let it run, which obviously isn’t a problem when wearing diapers. Potty training also involves a lot of work for the parents because it can take a good year or two until the child can use the toilet by themselves. But we can do it.
It won’t always land directly in the toilet either, but will often miss.
However, you will see how proud your child is when their business successfully lands in the potty. The small things are always something to be pleased about. So now let`s get started!

The right potty

The first step is finding the right basic equipment. What would be the most suitable option for my child-the tried and tested potty or the sophisticated toilet seat? The decision is totally up to you, and to be honest your child probably isn´t that bothered either way. Toilet seats would probably suit most children better because they recognize this as a place where adults go to the toilet and children always like to imitate their elders. If you decide on a potty you need to make sure that it stands firmly on the ground and doesn’t slide. Obviously it should also be comfortable for the child to sit on and shouldn´t cut into the bottom anywhere. Choosing one in your child´s favorite color is also self-evident.
If children want to follow in the footsteps of their elders and you therefore decide on a toilet seat there is a lot more to consider. Few people have a slightly smaller children´s toilet, which are available in most nurseries, at home. Therefore care must be taken to ensure that the seat has a device so that the child can independently climb up and down from the toilet. Just like the potty, the same conditions must also apply to the toilet seat – always accessible, comfortable and above all stable. No one wants their little one to fall into the toilet along with the seat.

Is your child ready?

If your child doesn’t want to part with diapers it will be a difficult process. They should be ready for a new life without them before you begin with potty training. This can vary from child to child, but for most children this occurs around 2-3 years old.
During this time the body has developed so that it is easy to begin with the potty training. A good time frame to do this is during the summer months. During this time children aren´t wearing layers and layers of clothing which means that a small accident in the pants can be changed quickly. A good tip is to always have a small plastic bag on hand in case of accidents.

Always look out for the signs. If you really observe your child, you will be able to recognize the tell- tale signs that your child needs to go.

Here are a few signs that your child may give off when they want to stop using diapers.
A very clear sign is when the nappy stays dry over a long period of time, so between three to four hours of dryness is a good indicator.
Another is whether your child can already walk by themselves and potentially be able to pull their trousers up and down independently.
They should also be able to follow instructions and understand simple words such as “wee wee” and “poo poo”. Obviously you can use other words. The main thing is that they understand what you mean. Let your imagination run wild!
The best thing that can happen is that your child comes to you directly and tells you that they don’t need diapers anymore. You might not want to believe it, but yes, this should happen.

But don’t stress out if not all of the signs occur. If you attentively observe your child and rely on your gut feeling, you will easily notice when it’s time to begin with potty training. It’s important to approach the whole thing without pressure or stress. At this age children don’t yet understand anything about the digestive system or why something comes out at the other end. It is also difficult for the child to understand that when the bladder is full it’s time to say “I need to a wee.” Simply go to the toilet with your child every three hours. That way they can get used to the whole thing a bit easier.
This is a good routine, as the child learns to control contracting and relaxing the sphincter muscles of the bowel and bladder. This needs to be learned, as when they were wearing diapers this didn´t really matter.

Sitting on the toilet for the first time

Make sure that your child is sitting relaxed on the toilet seat or potty. Sitting alone shouldn’t be strenuous for them. The question of where the potty sits is spared when using the toilet seat. The potty should simply be near for when it is needed quickly. When possible, doing their business should always take place in the same familiar environment. This should definitely be somewhere which is comfortable for the child and where they have peace and quiet. People are generally able to relax whilst on the toilet- one is undisturbed. Get your child used to using the potty or the toilet over time. There is no deadline by which the transition from diapers to dry time must be completed.

If you have to go back to diapers once again just let it be. The most important thing is to approach the whole process in a very relaxed manner. Children won’t understand the pressure and why there aren’t any diapers anymore anyway, as they have been used to them for such a long time. Just like adults, children hold on to habits. Build up trust with your child. They should realize that the potty is a good thing.

Why use the potty at all? The arguments

Naturally the day will come when your child is able to sit by themselves on the potty and climb up by themselves onto the toilet seat. This is the time for enlightenment as to why using the potty is important.
As you have surely already experienced with your child, children imitate everything. However you decide to prepare your child how to sit comfortably on the toilet seat, it´s entirely up to you. But when they do it please send us a photo.
You should of course go to the toilet with them. It is a good opportunity to explain to them what really goes on in our bodies.
Also playing out the whole scenario with their favorite cuddly toy is not a bad idea. And when they do manage to go in the potty then there should be lots of praise, or something delicious as a reward.

What clothing is the best for the migration from diapers to the potty?

The conversion can take a long time. Just don’t be impatient. Your child will take a long time to get used to it all. Because of this they need clothing they can put on and take off independently, so that they are able to go to the toilet by themselves. That way the child can walk to the potty or toilet by themselves when they feel the pressure forming in the abdomen.

What happens at night?

There is a slight difference with going to the toilet in the night than in the day and it can take longer to accomplish dryness during the night time. In this case it makes sense to cover the bed with a waterproof mattress pad. Nothing is more costly than changing the whole bed, including the mattress, every night. Have spare bedding and an extra pair of pajamas on hand next to the bed, so that there is no need to search for them in the middle of the night and the child can get back to sleep quickly.
When the child is able to leave their bed by themselves when they need to go to the toilet, leave a night light on so that they aren’t scared of going to the toilet in the dark. If they are using a potty, place it near the bed so they don’t have to spend too long looking for it.
In the dark the silliest accidents can happen. Make sure the child doesn’t trip over the potty.


It should be clear to all parents that getting the child used to the potty won’t happen within a day. Sometimes they will miss or go in their pants. Just stay calm about the whole thing and don’t scold your child. In no way at all are they doing it on purpose.

It’s done! Congratulations!

When your child is able to go to the toilet on their own they will feel a great sense of achievement.
Let us know how it is all going.
Tell us about your experiences here in the comments below. We’d love to know how your child is getting on with potty training and what tricks have worked for you.

Best Wishes,
Your JollyBabyClub team