When to start toilet training?


Children will start to show signs that they are ready generally between 18months – 2 years. Based on the Australian parenting website Raising Children and Better Health Channel Victoria here are some helpful tips to guide you and your child through this exciting new stage of toilet training.

Here are some signs to look out for;

  • Becoming more independent with tasks
  • Interested in watching others use the toilet
  • Has a dry nappy for up to 2 hours
  • Tells you when they have done poo’s and wee’s in their nappy
  • Begins to dislike wearing a nappy, try to pull it off after it is wet
  • Can pull pants up & down
  • Can follow simple instructions

Getting ready for toilet training;

There are different ways of toilet training, you can either use a potty or the toilet. Allow your child to try both and then choose which one they prefer and feel more comfortable with.

  • Introduce and explain the potty or toilet to your child, allowing them to sit on and get familiar
  • Allow your child to watch others going to the toilet and talk about what they are doing
  • Begin to use training pants on your child. This helps your child understand the feeling of wetness.

Starting toilet training;

Remember to choose a time that allows you to spend as much time as possible with no rush to do other things. This needs to be a relaxed a calm time. Don’t try during having a baby or moving house because it will become too stressful.

  • Stop using nappies during the day but continue using nappies during sleep times.
  • Dress your child in clothes that are easy to remove. E.g. elasticated waste, no buttons or zips.
  • Give your child gentle reminders throughout the day to see if they need to go to the toilet.
  • Teach them to wash their hands every time they go to the toilet.
  • If they are refusing to use the potty or toilet don’t force them. Wait until they are willing to try again.
  • If a week has gone by with no success, stop all attempt and try again in a few weeks.
  • Don’t forget to praise success. Use a sticker chart or stamp system when they use the toilet or potty.
  • Be casual about accidents. Keep it a stress free routine.