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Toilet training your toddler

After a couple of years of nappies, you probably can’t wait for your little one to be toilet trained. But don’t be in too much of a hurry. The secret to going from nappies to pants is to wait until your wee one is ready.

Follow their lead and don’t be fazed if other children learn to use the toilet earlier than yours. Many children start at around the age of 2 but each child is different – so stay calm and don’t rush them into it.

Getting started

Starting toilet training can be a common source of stress. Being patient and remembering that it’s all new to your little one (and keeping a sense of humour!) will help you and your wee one to get through it together.

Once you feel your child has got a rough idea of what it’s all about, get a potty or toddler toilet seat and step – whichever you plan to use – and let your child get used to it. At first, they’ll probably use it as a toy.

You can help them to find out what it’s really for by playing at putting a doll or a teddy on it. Kids this age love to copy you, so let them come with you when you go to the toilet. Talk about what you’re doing in simple terms and let them use the flush if they’re not scared by the noise. Avoid words like ‘dirty’ that may cause your child to feel unclean. Be patient and try not to expect too much, too soon.

Your child might get the hang of wees before poos, or the other way around. It will all work out with time.

Toilet training without the tears

Last updated: 8 Aug, 2023