There are many milestones we reach with our children, first smile, first taste of food, first steps and of course their first wee on the potty!

When you start potty training will vary for each child, they are all individual and will be ready in their own time. The majority of children start potty training between the ages of 18 months to 3 years. You know your child best and should start training when you know your child is ready, not when others think you should do.

Your child will need to be able physically ready, be able to sit on the potty and get up when they have finished. They will also need to be able to follow instructions and communicate their needs. Make sure you choose a time that is right for you too, and anyone else that is involved in your child’s care. Everyone needs to work together to support your child.

Other ways to see if your child is ready is by keeping a check on their nappies, are they able to stay dry for an hour or two? This can indicate that they are developing bladder control.

Top 10 tips for potty training

1. Drink plenty: Make sure your child is having 6-8 drinks of water-based fluid a day to help keep their bowel and bladder healthy. Don’t limit their drinks to help them stay dry as it doesn’t work. The bladder needs to be filled and emptied properly to keep it working well.

2. Check for constipation: Your child should poo at least four times a week and the poo should be soft and easy to pass.

3. Use easy clothing: Clothes that are easy to pull up and down are the best. Choose clothes that are easy to wash and dry. It can help to practise getting dressed and undressed. Let your child choose their own pants and practise wearing them to get used to the feeling.

4. Pick a potty: Let your child choose a potty if you’re going to use one. Keep it in the bathroom and let them practise sitting on it. You might want to have more than one potty to begin with.

5. Get into a routine: Don’t ask your child if they need a wee or a poo as they might not know what this is to begin with. Call it ‘potty time’ or ‘toilet time’ and go every couple of hours.

6. Keep it short: Don’t let them sit for too long on the potty or toilet, two or three minutes is fine. Keep some toys handy to occupy them while they sit.

7. Encourage boys to sit down to wee: They might also need a poo and sitting down will help them to go. They may empty their bladder better sitting down too.

8. Be consistent: If your child is looked after by a relative or goes to nursery or a childminder make sure you let them know that you’re starting potty training and the way you’re planning to do it. It really helps if everyone who cares for your child is doing the same thing.

9. Give lots of praise: For each little step like sitting on the potty, washing hands and getting dressed. Rewards are a good incentive – make them small and instant, like a sticker.

10. Be patient: Potty training is a skill which may take some time to learn, so don’t be surprised if there are lots of accidents to start with. You might decide your child isn’t ready after all, in which case stop potty training and have another go in a few weeks.

At Little Explorers we will work with you to support your child’s potty training, we have potty’s at nursery, we can use reward charts and ensure your child is taken to the toilet at regular times to help them be successful with their potty training. There will be some accidents at nursery, that is just natural as they adapt to toilet training in the different environment, so make sure they have plenty of change of clothes.

If you have any questions and concerns about starting toilet training please speak to your child’s key person.
Working together your child will be dry in no time! Call 01359 232111 to join Little Explorers and find out more about how we can support your child’s learning.

For more information about potty training and to download your free guide to potty training please visit