Signs of Toilet-training Readiness

  • Your child has a dry nappy for longer periods of time – about two hours or more. This shows that their bladder capacity is increasing.
  • Your toddler is able to pull her pants up and down easily.
  • Your toddler is walking and running well – the urge to use the toilet comes suddenly at this age!
  • Your child shows obvious signs of discomfort when their nappy is dirty or wet – this can be shown through posture and facial expression as well as verbally.
  • Interest in wearing grown-up underwear is helpful – taking your child out to choose their own underwear can be an exciting thing to do.
  • Your child can follow simple instructions. Going to the toilet is a pretty complex routine – you have to go to the bathroom, pull down your underwear, sit on the seat, wipe your bottom, flush the toilet, wash hands and so on.
  • Bowel movements are at roughly the same time every day. This shows that the rectal muscles are developing control.
  • Your toddler is able to sit and engage in an activity for a few minutes without distraction or irritability.

Training Tips

  • Do not train your child too early. Don’t start before the age of two.
  • If initial training does not work, do not show disappointment. Stop and try again in a few months.
  • Emotional stability is key. Don’t start training when a new sibling is about to arrive, while on holidays or when you are about to move home.
  • Summer months are best for toilet training as there as there are less clothes to tend to, and children need to go to the toilet less often in warmer weather.