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Page 5 | Do you have questions about creating positive bathroom habits and routines? Ask toilet training expert Amanda Jenner - £200 voucher to be won

(144 Posts)
LibbyMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Dec-20 10:41:17

Please note, questions have been answered and the expert is no longer available to answer new questions.

According to toilet training expert Amanda Jenner, 73% of parents don’t think there is enough advice when it comes to toilet training*. During lockdown, there has been a huge increase of children losing their confidence when going to the toilet which has led to an increase of older children having more frequent toilet accidents in and out the home. With this in mind, Amanda will be here to answer your questions between 4th-8th January.

Here’s some more information on Amanda Jenner: “Amanda is known as The UK’s Toilet Training Expert. Throughout her career, she has worked closely with families and the education sector, giving advice and guidance during key stages of child development.
She hosts regular live clinics, debates and campaigns to help parents talk about their children’s toilet habits and behaviour throughout their early childhood."

Here’s what Andrex has to say: “Andrex® wants to help your family along its unique toileting journey with a little fun along the way. Over the next few months, we will be launching a series of tips, tools and advice to help you and your child grow in confidence, establishing healthy bathroom habits and routines. As we know those positive behaviours we develop as a child will last a lifetime.
We’re excited to join your family on this adventure.”

Whether you‘d like to know how you can teach your child healthy bathroom habits or you're concerned that lockdown has knocked your child’s confidence when using the toilet independently, ask Amanda your questions on this thread.

All who post a question (regardless of whether it is answered or not) will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 voucher for the store of their choice (from a list).

Thanks and good luck!


Insight Terms and Conditions apply

*Survey conducted by Amanda’s Potty Training Academy

OP’s posts: |
SuzCG Tue 05-Jan-21 17:50:44

After a really hard swimming session my DS wet the bed that night - would you say this was just exhaustion and would you consider that 'normal'? Prior to this he never had accidents - leaves it til the last minute yes, but never too late!

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:02:04

Hello everyone, thanks so much for all your questions - so many but all good points. Toilet training issues are hugely common so never feel alone.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:17:20


How do you get a 2/3 year old to wipe their own bottom? It seems logistically impossible for my child as her arms simply aren't long enough to reach! How old before you can stop checking they've done a good job ?

Hi @BristolMum96. She is still only little, so continue to try and guide her until she can reach - this is not uncommon so don't worry. This can be the case until they are at least 4/6, it can take time.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:20:18


Toilet training my 5 year old has been a nightmare. He still never goes to the toilet of his own accord, we have to tell him (usually nag him for ages), even when it's obvious he needs to go - left to himself he just won't go and is happy to have an accident. We have a routine of going 20 mins after a meal and timers through the rest of the day, but how can we get him to take responsibility for his own toileting?

Hi @Bloatstoat. I would recommend you set up a magic reward system for him to try and encourage him. Keep prompting him and reminding him that he will get one star for a wee and two stars for a poo and the stars will build up to prizes. This is a more encouraging way of getting him to go independently but fun at the same time.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:22:00


I'd like to know when teenage boys finally start to leave the toilet looking as clean as they found it! Any strategies? Nagging doesn't seem to work but I doubt they'd respond to star charts and rewards any more!

Hi @ConquestEmpireHungerPlague. This is very common; I would recommend a different reward system as he is older. All teenagers like money so why not get a clear jar and at the end of the week if the toilet has been left clean, he will get some coins in the jar.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:23:55


My three and a half year olds does wees on the toilet and is dry at night but still does all his poos in his nappy and refuses to do them on the toilet - has been going on since March. Any advice?


Hi @Gremlin1. I would suggest you empty the poo into the toilet and get him to help you and praise him for the help and get him to flush it away. Set a reward system just poos make sure he can visually see the rewards as this is a good reminder to him. Prompt him throughout the day reminding him he has a reward waiting when you see the poo in the toilet.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:26:18


How old do you think a child is before they can clean their bottom properly, looking forward to the day when I do t get the call!!!

Hi @MrsFrTedCrilly. Every child is different, but it normally starts to happen around the age of 6 but keep encouraging him daily, it will happen.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:27:33


Any tips for trying to get a 4 nearly 5 year old to be dry over night?

Hi @Cotswoldmama. Reducing liquids is very important at least one hour before bedtime including fruit. Also making sure during the day he is having regular visits to the toilet, and not rushed ones so he is emptying his bladder fully. Encourage a nice relaxed toilet visit before bedtime and try and get him to sit for at least 5 mins.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:29:15


How do you encourage a child not to use quite as much toilet paper when they go to the loo? Honestly, my child lets the roll run for ages and uses metres of the stuff even for a wee. Any tips? My reminders that (a) its not necessary, and (b) its not great for the environment, don't seem to work. My normal weekly shopping looks like I'm stockpiling toilet paper, waaay before Covid struck. (To note: DD is 16)!!

Hi @Quietvoiceplease. Limit the toilet roll, so tear a certain amount off and leave where the paper is normally. Also explain to your teenager the impact this has on the environment and also the cost that it involves, sometimes teenagers just need that little reminder about certain things. Always could be a deduction of pocket money lol!

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:30:36


My DS 4 has been clean and dry since he was 2 , but doesn't clean his bottom properly, and waits for me to wipe, I have tried different toilet paper and wet wipes - at school he just pulls his pants up and leaves it. Any tips for helping him learn to clean (I think he has a phobia of poo on his hands)

Hi @alwaysataldi. This is hugely common at this age. I would set up chart with him and explain that if he wipes his bottom you will be super proud and he will get a star, and the same for school if he comes home clean. But don't expect super clean at this age as school they tend to rush. If he achieves 5 stars, he will get a reward this is a great way of encouraging independence.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:33:19


How do I encourage my 5year old to poo at school. She comes home with tummy ache every day as she holds it in.

Hi @sharond101. I come across this on a daily basis and I really feel for the little ones. Speak to her and find out why she doesn't want to go at school, it could be she doesn't want to go in front of her friends which is the most common one. Speak privately to the teacher and ask them if she can have private visit to the toilet, teachers are normally very accommodating. I also use a technique where you put a little shiny star in her pocket and if she does a poo at school, she can have a treat out of the jar that you set up for her. This will be a little bit more of an encouragement for her.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:34:09


I would also like any tips on teens leaving the loo in a good state

Hi @ItsCovidOutThereThisChristmas. Pocket money or the jar is a good incentive for teenagers, they need to learn to take responsibility for their hygiene and respect that others use the bathroom too. Keep this consistent and they will get it in the end.

sharond101 Fri 08-Jan-21 11:35:42

Thank you

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:36:15


We found going from potty training to toilet training a surprisingly difficult step.
How can we make it seem less intimidating for little ones to start using the toilet instead of potty?

Hi @Summergarden. Potty to Toilet can be a huge step, obviously a toilet is a bigger and they can be afraid of using it. A good step stool and sturdy toilet trainer seat will make them feel more secure. Get them involved by letting them choose their own as this makes it more exciting. A good child friendly hand soap as all children love to play with water just makes the bathroom more fun. Also, a reward star reward for using the big toilet works a treat!

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:37:36


I worry about my child not using the toilet all day as they don’t want to use the ones in comprehensive school that are dirty and lack privacy. Will this cause health problems later on?

Hi @searchthesky. This is something teenagers can go through. I would always sit down and explain the importance of us using the toilet on a regular basis, it can be just a bit of reassurance is what is needed.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:39:02


What do you suggest for a 2 year old who is perfectly capable of using the toilet but who sometimes chooses to wet themselves and just ignore it and carry on with what they're doing?

Also, how can you get older kids to remember to flush the toilet, other than sending them back to do it every time you catch them?

Hi @Estraya. This could be that the bladder still isn't fully developed and not strong enough to hold it in. You will still need to prompt them as they are very busy at this age and will forget or leave it until it's too late. If you find they are still having constant accidents after a week I would stop and start again in a few weeks.
Again, flushing is always a frustration in any household - using a star reward system can help to encourage this.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:40:42


My daughter is now 8 and although she potty trained really well (dry at night far quicker than my other two children and also in the day) she was suffering from an illness at the usual stage when kids learn to wipe their own bottom and even when her pain and joints improved, it feels like she missed that window of opportunity so we've been left with the situation that she won't poo at school and at home she still needs us to wipe for her as its become something that she is afraid to do herself. I'm not quite sure how to go about changing this habit without causing huge upset to her. Every time we've tried to explain that she REALLY needs to learn to do it now and tried to support her step by step, she might try on that one occasion but then becomes distressed the following times. Any advice would be hugely appreciated!

Hi @Hopezibah. I would suggest you keep showing as you have done. Why not try introducing a reward system with her. Sometimes it’s about turning a negative into a positive and all children love to please and be rewarded, and this in turn will encourage her. Try to use positive language and not be saying don’t worry this will highlight the problem. Using language such as you can do this I am so proud of you is almost pre-empting that she will do it.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:41:44


Ds is newly 4. He toilet trained later at around 3years 3months. He totally cracked it by 3.5years and was also dry at night. As he was older and quite big for his age we went straight to the toilet and he even gave up the trainer seat recently. DS sits on the toilet and my husband thinks its mean I dont let him stand...but seriously I dont fancy DS aim! When should we transition to standing up wees and how can I help him?

Hi @PickledChicory. I always say to parent's the standing for a boy is not a race. He will naturally pick this up at school in his own time, it's not good to put pressure on him as this can cause regression due aiming in the wrong place.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:42:47


DS 2 is terrified of the toilet (mainly because it was flushed whilst he was sitting on on when DS1 flushed - the horror)
He was happily going before then - I've tried reassurance, bribery, watching it flush - and how it looks - any tips to get his confidence back ?

Hi @Montydoo. I would suggest a distraction box next to the toilet, this will help relax him and take his mind of the situation. This can be filled with a book, bubbles, small toys. Say to him if you sit on the toilet, I will get your special box for you and focus on this rather than the toilet.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:43:34


How do you get your child to use the toilet when needed and not leave it too late?

Hi @thingywotsit. Try using an egg timer that you both set together so this gets your little one involved and it's fun. Also, you will still need to be prompting them as little ones do still need that little voice to remind them.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:44:32


My youngest (8) sometimes suffers from cystitis and after shes had it she is frightened to go to the loo which is the exact opposite of what she needs to do - any tips would be great!

Hi @welshmardymum. Try using bubbles with her, blowing will relax her bladder and distract her from what she is doing. Also set up a wish jar with her and every time she uses the toilet, she can take a wish out of the jar. This will turn a negative experience into a positive.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:47:05


My ten year old (autistic) son is confident when it comes to toilet stuff usually however he still wants me to wipe his bottom for him when he has done a poo. How can I encourage him to feel confident to do this himself?

Hi @HannahLI. This can take time to build his confidence. Set up a reward system with him to encourage him to try, this will make him feel proud of himself even if he try’s still reward him as little steps make all the difference.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:48:18


DS wasn't a big fan of using public, or even school, toilets before and definitely isn't now as he worries about the germs

He doesn't have a problem digging in the muck etc so not worried about germs in general but never been a fan of public toilets. No idea where its come from as 2DDs and I use them no problem and I've always encouraged messy play etc

Any ideas on how to help him feel more comfortable using public/school toilets

Hi @TellMeItsNotTrue. I think there is so much talk about germs in this current situation and children listen to everything. I would suggest you explain about germs and how the school is super clean like at home to reassure him. This could be a little phase which I often come across. Public toilets are not a place many children like to use so I wouldn’t be too concerned. Also explain he must use the toilet everybody has to, so you can make room for your favourite yummy food. You will be surprised a little frank talk can go along way.

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:50:19


I would like to know how to teach my 3 year old to wipe his own bottom? Rids him of independence when I do it but terrible when I let him try. Worried of worms etc.

Also how on earth do they last so long without going? My DS doesn’t drink loads but I try and get him to drink whenever I can and he can still go 4-5 hours without a wee. Do they have different bladder powers when young?!

Hi @wellingtonsandwaffles. Again, a very common question this does take time and lots of practise. Lots of praise when he does try, and this can take little steps but always praise for trying. Yes, bladders do develop at different rates, and he does need plenty of fluids to encourage a healthy bladder, at 3 it’s sometimes can be a challenge to get them to drink. A little tip set a marker on a beaker with him and if he reaches the marker, he can have a little treat, this works wonders!!

AmandaJenner Fri 08-Jan-21 11:51:17


How do you encourage your child to wipe themselves if they don't want to, while also making sure they do a good job?

Hi @itsonlysubterfuge. This takes lots of practice and can take time. Guide them with your hand and praise them once it’s done even though you have helped them. Then get them to have a go and praise even if it’s not all clean as practice makes perfect.

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