It can take children time to learn their body’s signals for when they need a wee and/or poo. Potty training can take weeks or months for some children, with many accidents along the way. Choose a time to begin toilet training that is right for you and for your child.
Your child may be ready for toilet training if:
- They are able to follow instructions.
- They can stay dry for 1 or 2 hours.
- They start to notice when they have done a wee and/or poo.
|Toileting Milestone||Typical Age|
|Toilet Trained (wees)||2 years – 5 years|
|Toilet Trained (poos)||2 – 4 years|
|Night-Time Trained||6 months after successful day time training|
Toilet Training Tips for when your child is ready
- Encourage your child to drink plenty of water. Water helps to soften poo and makes it easier to pass.
- Use loose, easy clothing, such as elasticated trousers and underwear.
- Allow your child to choose a potty and/or a toileting step. When your child has a bowel movement in their nappy, allow them to watch you put it into the potty/toilet so that they can see where it should go. You can explain to them that this is where wee and poo belong (See Eric.org for useful resources).
- Consistency is vital. You can use a timed approach or look out for signals and then place your child on the toilet/potty. Regularly ask your child if they need to use the toilet/potty.
- Keep the toileting routine short and fun. Have fun things to play with on the toilet (e.g. a favourite book).
- Give lots of praise and encouragement – especially just for your child’s efforts.
- Remember to be patient, positive and upbeat. Accidents will happen, so clean them up and reassure your child. Never punish your child for accidents.