When will my child be ready?
Most children are not ready to learn to
control their bowels and bladder until
they are two years old and some not
until they are three. Often boys are ready
later than girls.
To be ready to use the toilet or potty,
your child first needs to be able to tell
when his bowels or bladder are full
and needs to be able to hold on to his
wee (urine) for an hour or so, e.g. to be
waking up dry from his daytime nap.
Signs your child is ready are:
they	tell	you	they	are	doing	a	poo
pulling	at	wet	and	dirty	nappies
telling	you	that	his	nappy	is	wet
telling	you	that	he	doesn’t	want	to
wear nappies anymore.
Be prepared to wait until your child is
ready. Most toilet training problems can
be avoided if you don’t start too early.
Don’t try and set a date by which you
want your child to be toilet trained, e.g.
before the new baby arrives.
Getting ready for toilet
l Teach your child the words such as
wet, dry, wee, poo, it’s coming.
l Choose either a potty, or a special
toilet seat with a footstool or a step.
A step is necessary if you choose to
use a toilet, so your child can get up
to the toilet and feel safe and relaxed
there. A potty can be moved around
the house but you may need to take
it out with you if your child is not
used to using a toilet.
l Some toddlers are afraid of being
flushed down the toilet because
they don’t yet understand that they
cannot fit down such a small hole.
For these children a potty is better or
let them learn to flush the toilet with
you or by themselves. You may need
to flush it when they are safely out of
l Make sure that the toilet area is
safe. Keep household cleaners,
deodorants and toiletries out of
l If you feel comfortable about
it, let your child go with you
to the toilet and talk about
what you are doing.
l Make sure your child is
wearing clothing that is
easy to get on and off, and
easy to wash, such as trainer
l In warm weather toilet training is