Toilet Training your Child

 Many parents are worried about toilet training their children. The good news is that toddlers and young children can be keen on what they are taught. They tend to learn faster from the actions of people around them. While toilet-training is not difficult for many parents, it’s not a one-time thing. Let’s learn more about how to get your child to use the toilet properly.

When Should I Start?

 If you’re worried about when to start toilet-training, then consider letting your child be your guide. The process is unique to every child, therefore, don’t feel pressured by other people to start if you do not feel ready.

Signs that Your Child Is Ready

Age- Most children start showing signs that they’re ready for toilet training between 18 and 24 months. Some may be ready earlier or later. Note that boys may start later and learn for a longer time than girls too. Other indicators include their ability to:

  • Follow simple instructions
  • Relate with words about the toileting process
  • Control muscles used for eliminating stool
  • Express verbally their need to poo
  • Keep their nappy dry for 2 hours or more
  • Depict an interest to use the potty

Potty Training Tips

Teaching a toddler to use the potty may take between 3 and 6 months.  Here are some tips that may help include:

  • Take some time to devote yourself to the potty-training procedure.
  • Don’t force your child to sit on the potty against their will.
  • You may demonstrate by showing how you sit on the toilet. Remember to explain what you’re doing.
  • Develop a routine. For instance, you may have your child sit on the potty 30 minutes to an hour after taking lots of fluids.
  • Remove poop from your child’s nappy. Put it in the toilet as you explain to your child that poop needs to go to the potty. Learn more on how to remove your baby’s nappy on How to Change a Nappy
  • Adjust your child’s wardrobe to adapt to the potty training. By this, you may avoid outfits that snap in the crotch.
  • You may let your child have some period during the day without a diaper.
  • Offer your child small gifts every time they go in the potty.

When to Be Concerned

You need to worry when your child undergoes potty training regressions often. He or she may be having an underlying medical problem. A visit to your doctor may help to address the issue. If your child becomes emotional during toilet training, it may be a sign that he or she is not ready. 

Consistent accidents or clumsiness while using the toilet, is however common and not a cause to be concerned.


Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019 

Sources: kidshealth, parents, raisingchildren

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