1-4 years

Signs your child might be ready for toilet training

If your child has dry nappies for up to two hours and knows he’s doing a wee or a poo, he could be ready for toilet training. It’s handy if he can pull his pants up and down.

Your child might also be ready if he’s interested in the toilet and wants to watch you use it. He might tell you if there’s a wee or a poo in his nappy.

Your child can use underpants or training pants during the day. He can use a nappy when you can’t get to a toilet easily, or during daytime and night-time sleeps.

Toilet training basics

Dress your child in clothes that are easy to take off, like pants with elastic waistbands.

Watch for signs that your child might need to use the toilet. She might jiggle or hold her hand between her legs. Gently remind her to sit on the toilet during the day.

Sit your child on the toilet when a poo is likely – for example, about 30 minutes after a meal. About 3-5 minutes is long enough for your child to sit.

Good toileting habits

Have your child sit comfortably on the toilet. Sitting with his feet and legs apart and leaning forward with a straight back will help him empty out wee and poo. He can use a footstool to support his feet.

Wipe your child’s bottom or help with wiping. Ask him to bend forward. Always wipe from front to back. If your child misses the toilet and wee or poo gets on the floor, just clean it up without fuss or comment.

Help your child wash his hands, then give him lots of praise for doing a wee or poo in the toilet. If you’re ever concerned about your child’s toileting, speak to your health professional.

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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