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How To Potty Train A Toddler

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When should I start potty training my toddler?

Regardless of how mature a toddler may be, there is no point potty training before 18 months because before this age a child does not have voluntary control over their bowel movements.

The best age to potty training is when a toddler is ready. Generally speaking this is around the age of 2 and 2 and a half, although boys can often be later than this.

How potty train a toddler?

Keep a potty in a convenient place that a toddler can get to easily. Parents should be encouraging when their toddler sits on the potty but they do not need to go overboard. It is important that a toddler understands that bowel movements are simply part of normal bodily functions, and that they are not naughty if they have an accident.

Pull-up nappies are convenient during potty training, but they are expensive. Terry-towelling pants are more comfortable and much cheaper. Be prepared for accidents by keeping a spare set of clothes handy when out and about as well as some old towels.

Potty training and night times

Being dry and learning to use a potty or the toilet during the day does not mean that a toddler will be dry at night. Being dry through the night generally happens later. Many toddlers will not be dry at night until the age of three. Even at this age there will usually be accidents.

Dr Carol Cooper, General Practitioner

Author of Baby and Child – Your questions answered


10653 Revised November 2012

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