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Toilet training

The age you decide to toilet train your child can vary as every child is different. There is no rush to toilet train your child but on average most children are toilet trained between the ages of two and three.

It's important to go along with your child's needs and look out for signs that your child is ready to start toilet training.

Signs your child is ready

Signs that your child is ready to start toilet training are:

  • If they tell you that they are wet or have soiled their nappy
  • If they show an interest in the toilet
  • If they start to show discomfort if their nappy is wet or soiled
  • Can dress or undress themselves (mainly their bottoms and underwear - being able to pull them up and down)

Taking notice of your child’s toilet habits can also help determine if they are ready, for example:

  • When is their wettest/ driest time in their nappies?
  • At what time of the day do they soil their nappies?

Noticing these patterns will help you realise the times when they are most likely to need the toilet.

Toilet training
Toilet training
Toilet training

Preparing for potty training

Things you can do to prepare for potty training: 

  • Speak to your child about what is going to happen. Books can also help, you can visit your local library or ask your family centre for books on this subject. 
  • Decide with family members on what familiar words you and your child will use such as ‘wee wee’, ‘poo’, toilet’ in English or your main language at home
  • Stock up on cheap underwear and loose clothing such as tracksuit bottoms and skirts with elasticated waist bands to help them with dressing and undressing
  • Buy a potty or child toilet ring for your child - go with your child’s preference.
  • A little step or stool will be needed if your child prefers using the toilet
  • Talk to all family members, carers and nursery teachers about your plans to toilet train your child


  • Stay calm if your child has an accident. Getting angry with your child can put them off from using the toilet or potty again
  • Praise your child when they use the toilet. This will encourage them to use it again! Rewards such as stickers, bubbles or a trip to the park with you can help 
  • Introduce washing their hands after using the toilet or potty to promote good hygiene
Toilet training
Need to talk

Need to talk?

If you would like to talk to one of our local Family Support workers to see how we can help, pop into one of our family centres, email or phone 020 8753 6070.

We're here to help with tailored support for you and your family - just ask!

Houra from Masbro

Worried about a child?

If you are worried about a child or young person, please call our team on 020 8753 6600.

If you are worried that a child or young person is at immediate risk, please contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 500 or or call the police on 999

Remember Childline is always there for any young person online and on the phone anytime. If you are worried about yourself or a friend they are there for you.