On this page you will find 2 differing styles of toilet training or potty training as some call it. Read both and decide which is best for your family. Whatever approach is used, being calm and patient is essential.


Toilet training can be started when your child is giving clear signals that they are ready. It is best to wait if there are significant changes going on such as a new baby arriving, moving house, or starting child care.

Signs that your child might be ready to begin toilet training include:

  • nappy is staying dry for about 2 hours at a time
  • Your child is aware that they’ve had a bowel motion in their nappy
  • Your child is uncomfortable when wet or soiled
  • Your child has an interest in the toilet such as copying other peoples’ behaviour
  • Your child has a bowel motion at about the same time each day

How to Do It

Show and tell

  • Decide whether you will be using a potty, or the toilet. If you are using the toilet you may need a small step
  • Show your child how to use the toilet or potty.
  • Tell your child what you would like them to do - keep it simple.


Being able to remove clothing quickly is essential.

Buy big kids undies on a special shopping trip together.

Time and patience

Remind your child every half hour in the beginning that they may need to go to the toilet.

  • Remain positive about toilet training and praise. Praise just for trying. Don’t make it a battle. If it does become a battle STOP and try again in 2 months
  • Remember to wash and dry their hands each time they use the toilet.
  • Staying dry all night, may take some extra time.
  • Keep a sense of humour, toilet training doesn’t last forever.

If at any point you are concerned about your child’s toileting progress, contact your Early Childhood Health Centre for more help.


Please read the article on Ancient methods of toilet training

50 percent of the world's children are toilet trained by the time they turn 1, according to Contemporary Pediatrics magazine!

In many cultures toilet training is started very early, when babies are just a few months old and can hold their heads up. Read more about this kind of toilet training.

Recommended book for this style of toilet training:

Frequently Bought Together

Research shows

  • Children can control their bowel - sphincter muscle - before they can control muscles controlling urination.
  • Daytime training occurs before night time training.
  • Girls usually are toilet trained before boys.
  • Toilet training problems are often connected to other parent and child issues happening such as authority.

Handy Hints

  • Use same sex adult modeling when possible
  • If the child has an accident, remain calm, saying "Sometimes accidents happen." Let them take part in the clean up by placing soiled clothing in the sink, wiping the floor with a towel, or wiping with a washcloth.
  • Some parents find it helpful in early training to try turning on the water faucet in the bathroom as a stimulus to urinate.
  • Storing clean underwear near the toilet may be beneficial.
  • Colorful underwear may be motivating and easy-to-remove clothing is recommended.


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