Toilet Training

Your Healthy Family Team can help give you advice on getting your child ready to use the toilet.

For most children, daytime toilet training is achievable between 2-3 years of age. This is because your child can be physically and emotionally mature and able to understand what is happening.

How do I know my child is ready?

  • The nappy may stay dry for longer periods
  • Your child may indicate that he/she has done a wee or soiled the nappy
  • He may tell you what he/she has done
  • He may show signs of needing to wee or open his bowels

Guidance and helpful information

  • Choose pants and a potty together
  • Place it where it is readily available – There may be only a few seconds between realising he needs it and using it
  • Use appropriate clothing – elasticated trousers and pants are best
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids 120-150mls (6-8 cups) daily
  • When your child sits on the potty, praise and encourage him/her, be positive
  • Your child’s day care setting/nursery are always a useful source of support

Toilet training FAQs

Q – How often should my child sit on the potty?

A – To begin with, try hourly and approximately 20 minutes after a meal. Don’t ask your child, he/she will invariably say “no”! Use language such as “It’s time to sit on the potty”.

Q – What if my child does not show signs of being ready by 3 years?

A – Try initially, if no progress is seen after several days, stop and contact your Healthy Family Team for advice.

Q – What if my child is constipated or refuses to ‘poo’ on the potty/toilet?

A – Encourage plenty of fluids and a variety of high fibre foods. Some children have a fear of pooing – you can help by trying some of these ideas;

  • Lining the potty with a nappy
  • Scrunching toilet paper in to the bowl
  • Distract with singing, activities, books etc
  • Songs like ‘Row,row,row your boat’ and blowing bubbles may also help to distract and relax his/her muscles
  • Download the ‘Poo Goes to Pooland’ app

Q – How do I manage potty training when out and about?

A – Take a change of clothes with you. Take the potty with you, locate nearby toilets and have regular ‘toilet runs’. You can also purchase a portable potty, which you may find useful.