Moving to using the potty and toilet

This can seem to be a big task, especially with lots of advice around, but try to relax your child will learn to use the toilet when they are ready. Most children will be using the potty through the day between two and four years old and staying dry through the night by eight years old. It is easier to urinate than to pass a bowel movement, so many children will wait until they have a nappy on during a sleep to pass a bowel movement, this is normal and not a cause for concern. Try not to rush toilet training, you cannot force it, adapting to using the potty or toilet usually takes up to four weeks, but can take several months. Some children will continue to have accidents a year or more later, but do not worry all children are different. If your child refuses they may not be ready, nagging or punishing them will not help.

When is your child ready?

  • When your child can say they are wet or soiled, or want to use the toilet
  • When your child can wait or control the urge to wet or soil
  • When your child shows an interest in the toilet
  • When your child is able to pull up their own pants

Getting ready to start!

  • Keep a note of when your child wets or soils their nappy
  • Get all the resources needed, potty toilet ring stool etc
  • Only use nappies when your child is sleeping
  • Put your child in to pants or training pants
  • Dress your child in loose easy to take off clothing
  • Use prompts to talk with your child about using the toilet and the potty, let them watch you use the bathroom, watching what you do as you talk through what you are doing too

When to begin!

  • Choose a time to start when you are able to be consistent with your daily routine for at least a few days
  • Explain how to use the potty or toilet
  • give your child simple steps to follow
  • Tell mummy or daddy
  • Go to the bathroom
  • Take off your pants
  • Sit on the toilet/potty
  • Try and do a wee or poo (use language you are comfortable with and stick to it)
  • Wipe yourself or ask for help
  • Flush the toilet
  • Wash your hands

Other tips!

  • Give your child plenty to drink
  • Ask your child if they need to go (watch for signs)
  • Encourage your child to sit on the potty or toilet at times they are likely to go (first thing in the morning)
  • Teach your child to wash their hands
  • Encourage them! praise their progress and success, set up a reward chart/system
  • check with any childcare which methods they are using and explain how you are doing it
  • If the process becomes upsetting, stop, wait a few weeks and try again

Do not…

  • Start training if you child is sick or unwell
  • Start training if there is any family stress
  • Start training if there are any major changes in family routine