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Toilet Training

Toilet Training Guidance

We hope you find the following information useful in preparing your child for Nursery.

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Basic signs that your child is ready

Managing to stay dry in nappy for 1½ to 2 hours

Excited at seeing his wee make a fountain when having a bath

Keen to have their nappy off and wear pants like a big boy/girl

Wiggling around when they need a poo or wee

Interested in what you do on the toilet

Shows awareness of weeing or pooing by stopping and concentrating or telling you what they are doing

Understand and respond to simple instructions such as ‘do you need a wee?’


Before you start……

Choose a good time to start and talk to your child about what you are going to do

Involve your child in choosing a potty and pants

Make sure the potty is comfortable and doesn’t tip

Plan where you are going to put the potty, keeping it in the same place

Decide what you are going to call wee and poo and tell others that care for your child so there is a consistent approach

If you are training using the toilet, you will need a child’s seat adapter to make your child feel secure. You will also need a step stool to enable your child to get onto the toilet


Getting rid of nappies

Keeping nappies on gives the child the message that this is where they should wee and poo. Children need the opportunity to be without a nappy to help them learn to use the toilet


Pull ups don’t soak up wee as well as disposable nappies, so your child will find it easier to tell when they are wet


Training pants should be a step towards normal pants, rather than a replacement for nappies. Encourage your child to keep their training pants dry by using the potty / toilet


Ensure you buy plenty of normal pants as there will be lots of accidents which are to be expected


Let the training begin!

Make sure toilet training is fun!

Be positive

Be consistent

Be encouraging

Always try to keep a relaxed approach to toilet training

Avoid battles about toileting although this is not always easy!

Always be positive when talking about the potty or toilet

Praise your child for bringing their potty into the room, or sitting on it.

Put your child on the toilet or potty regularly, about every hour or two and a short while after a drink.

Try to make the time they sit on the potty / toilet a special time, just for the two of you. You can sing a favourite rhyme, or read a book together

Try to link toileting to the daily routine e.g. before going out, and before and after meals

Celebrate their success


Things to Avoid

Don’t say ‘do you want to go to the toilet?’ Most children will say no. Instead say ‘go and do a wee’ or ‘go to the toilet’

Try not to delay toilet training. Children get too comfortable in nappies. They learn that the nappy is where they wee and poo

Avoid constipation. Ensure that your child has a healthy diet. If your child has constipation and they are in discomfort, they will associate pooing with this which will make them anxious about going to the toilet. It can cause your child to hold their poo in. If your child is experiencing discomfort when pooing speak to your health visitor or doctor

Avoid rituals, they can be difficult to change later

Avoid fizzy drinks, tea and coffee as these are not only unsuitable for young children but can sometimes make bladder control more difficult

Avoid clothes that are difficult for you or your child to remove in a hurry such as dungarees, tights or trousers with zips and buttons. You need clothes that are easy to pull down quickly. Your child will also eventually need to be able to pull their own trousers down – so the easier, the better!


Tips for Success

Encourage fluids – 6-8 drinks spread out over the day

Use clear language ‘now do a wee’ not ‘go to the bathroom’

Give gentle reminders and prompt your child until they learn bowel and bladder awareness

Use toilet training friendly clothes – elasticated waist

Time toilet breaks i.e. before a favourite television programme

Give your child time to go to the toilet

Praise your child every time they use the potty / toilet


A toilet trained child is a child who can do the following:

Be able to tell the adult they need to go to the toilet BEFORE they have to go. They must be able to say the words “I have to go to the toilet.”

Be able to pull down their underwear and pants and get them back up without assistance

Be able to wipe themselves

Be able to get off the toilet by themselves

Be able to flush the toilet by themselves

Be able to wash and dry hands

Be able to postpone going if they must wait for someone who is in the bathroom or if they are outside and away from the house