Toilet training – First steps (Part 2)


  • Use alot of praise, encouragement and rewards. Some kids are motivated by rewards such as stickers or star charts. Keep these material rewards for when they manages to actually wee or poo in the potty or toilet.
  • You will find that once they has made a wee in her potty (whether it was intentional or accidental) they will have made the connection and be able to do it more often. Use regular verbal (and visual) reminders as encouragement to work toward those rewards. NOTE: all rewards can be phased out over time as your toddler becomes more proficient at toileting.
  • Look for signs that your child may need the toilet such as squirming or going quiet and gently suggest they try on the toilet. Regular reminders throughout the day are also good but don’t force your child. It can be helpful to put them on the toilet when they are likely to need to go, such as after a bath or about 30 minutes after a meal.
  • Keep an eye on your child’s diet – lots of fibre and water can reduce the chance of constipation.
  • Only sit your child on the toilet or potty for a few minutes at a time. If they have not done anything by then, take them off. Longer only seems like a punishment.
  • Boys may prefer to sit on the toilet rather than stand until they are a little bigger or more confident.
  • Help your child clean themselves after toileting.

Toilet training takes time and patience. Try and remain positive about the experience so your toddler does also. Expect setbacks, better days, and worse days. It is actually a pretty major thing to get the hang of, so every step your toddler takes toward managing their own body functions is an achievement for them and for you, and should be celebrated!