advice

going potty:
a guide to toilet training

Potty training – it’s messy work but someone’s got to do it. Going from nappies to pants can be a stressful time for little ones and it’s a rite of passage for parents too, so here are a few helpful tips:


when to start

When it comes to toilet training, every child is different. There’s no right or wrong time to start, it all depends on when you and your little one feel ready. We now know that babies can’t control their bladders before 18–24 months, so don’t worry if it’s not happening right now. The most important thing to remember is not to push it – they’ll show you when they’re ready to start.

look for the signs

If you think they’re almost ready to step up to the potty, here are some signs to look out for:

  • they get curious when you or a sibling goes to the toilet
  • they try – and messily succeed – to take off their own nappy
  • they wake up dry after nap time (hooray!)
  • they sit on the potty by themselves
  • the gap between wetting is at least an hour
  • they show they need to go by fidgeting or pulling faces
  • they tell you that they need to go

how to start potty training

Start by getting your little one used to their new potty gradualy. Use a toy doll to show how it works and let them tag along with you to the bathroom (like you could stop them anyway!).

Look for signs that they need to go and encourage them to sit on their potty. It can be boring – keep some toys handy so they’ll sit for longer. Try not to show frustration when they have inevitable accidents, it’s a long journey but you’ll get there.

potty training tips

These tips will help get little bladders into a bathroom routine and you’ll both be saying “see ya later” to nappies in no time!

  • keep the potty in the bathroom so they'll know where to go
  • take the potty with you when you go out (yep, we do mean everywhere…)
  • try leaving them without a nappy during naptime

staying dry at night

Staying dry through the night should be the last step in the potty training process. By age 3, nine out of ten children are dry during the day but still have trouble at night – so don’t get disheartened if your little one is still having accidents. It’s usually a good idea to invest in some plastic sheets at this point.


Start the process gradually by swapping their nappy for a pair of pull-ups instead. Encouraging them to go to the toilet before you put them to bed will also help them get into a dry-night routine.


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