We have had lots of parents asking us about when to start potty/toilet training so we hope you find this guide useful.
Children are able to control their bladder and bowels when they’re physically ready, and when they want to, most children can control their bladder before their bowel.
By the age of two, some children will be dry during the day, but this is still quite early.
By the age of three, most children will be dry in the day. Even then, all children have the odd accident, especially when they’re excited, upset or absorbed in something else.
By the age of four most children are reliably dry. It usually takes a little longer to learn to stay dry throughout the night.
Most parents start thinking about potty training when their child is around 18 to 24 months old, but there’s no perfect time. It’s probably easier to start in the summer when there are fewer clothes to take off.
It’s always best to do it over a period of time when there are no great disruptions or changes to your child’s or your family’s routine.
You can try to work out when your child is ready. There are a number of signs that your child is starting to develop bladder control:
- They know when they’ve got a wet or dirty nappy.
- They get to know when they’re passing urine and may tell you they’re doing it.
- The gap between wetting is at least an hour.
- They know when they need to pee and may say so in advance.
How to start potty training
- Leave a potty where your child can see it and can get to know what it’s for. If you’ve got an older child, your younger child may see them using it, which will be a great help.
- If your child regularly has a bowel movement at the same time each day, leave their nappy off and suggest that they go in the potty. If your child is even the slightest bit upset by the idea, just put the nappy back on and leave it a few more weeks before trying again.
- As soon as you see that your child knows when they’re going to pee, encourage them to use their potty. It may take a while to get the hang of it. If you don’t make a fuss when they have an accident, then they won’t feel anxious and worried and are more likely to be successful the next time.
- Your child will be delighted when he or she succeeds. A little praise from you will help a lot. It can be quite tricky to get the balance right between giving praise and making a big deal out of it, which you don’t want to do. When the time is right, your child will want to use the potty and they will just be happy to get it right.
Sometimes accidents do happen even after they have been dry for a while which can be very frustrating, it’s always best not to make a fuss and give them lots of praise when they use the potty or toilet again. There may be an emotional reason such as moving house, a new baby arriving, a change of routine or moving to a new room in Nursery which can often have an effect. But if you do have ongoing concerns its always best to check with your GP in case they have a bladder infection.
Please us know when you are thinking of starting potty or toilet training with your child so we can work together and make it the best possible experience – Good luck!