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Toilet training

Your Health Visitor can help give you advice on getting your child ready to use the toilet.

For most children, daytime toilet training is achievable between 2-3 years of age. This is because your child can be physically and emotionally mature and able to understand what is happening.

How do I know my child is ready?

  • The nappy may stay dry for longer periods
  • Your child may indicate that they have done a wee or soiled the nappy
  • Your child may tell you what they have done
  • Your child may show signs of needing to wee or open their bowels

How often should my child sit on the potty?

To begin with, try hourly and approximately 20 minutes after a meal. Don’t ask your child, they will invariably say “no”! Use language such as “It’s time to sit on the potty”.

What if my child does not show signs of being ready by 3 years?

Try initially, if no progress is seen after several days, stop and contact your Health Visitor for advice.

What if my child is constipated or refuses to ‘poo’ on the potty/toilet?

Encourage plenty of fluids and a variety of high fibre foods. Some children have a fear of pooing – you can help by trying some of these ideas:

  • Lining the potty with a nappy
  • Scrunching toilet paper in to the bowl
  • Distract with singing, activities, books etc
  • Songs like ‘Row, row, row your boat’ and blowing bubbles may also help to distract and relax your child’s muscles
  • Download the ‘Poo Goes to Pooland’ app

How do I manage potty training when out and about?

Take a change of clothes with you. Take the potty with you, locate nearby toilets and have regular ‘toilet runs’. You can also purchase a portable potty, which you may find useful.

Guidance and helpful information

  • Choose pants and a potty together
  • Place it where it is readily available – There may be only a few seconds between realising they need it and using it
  • Use appropriate clothing – elasticated trousers and pants are best
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids 120-150mls (6-8 cups) daily
  • When your child sits on the potty, praise and encourage them, be positive
  • Your child’s day care setting/nursery are always a useful source of support

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