Toilet training factsheet

When are children ready to begin toilet training?

On average most children begin learning to use a potty by around their 2nd birthday but, as with everything in a child’s development this can vary.

Are girls easier to toilet train?

It can take longer for boys to learn, especially as they also have to master weeing whilst standing up, but there is no real difference.

When will I know if my child is ready to start toilet training?

Your child may be ready to start trying if he/she:

  • Stays dry for a couple of hours each day
  • Takes an interest when you, your partner, or older siblings go to the toilet
  • Has bowel movements at regular times of the day, say after breakfast
  • Can demonstrate when a bowel movement is taking place, by squatting or making a grunting sound for example
  • Lets you know he/she wants to be changed when their nappy is soiled.

What tips are there for getting a child to use the toilet?

The following are all useful pointers for toilet training your child:

  • Be positive and upbeat, presenting the change from nappies as something exciting
  • Give lots of praise when your child uses the potty
  • Expect setbacks – learning to use the toilet is just like any other skills your child learns
  • Give you child clothes that can be pulled up and down easily
  • Never force your child to sit on the potty
  • It always takes longer for a child to learn to stay dry at night so when he/she starts having the occasional dry nappy in the morning, it’s a good sign that the time is right to try going without a nappy
  • Remember to get your child to wash their hands afterwards, so that using the toilet/potty is associated with hand washing from the word go.

More information

If you would like to talk to us in more detail about toilet training, please speak to a member of staff.