Getting ready for potty training
Most children are ready to start potty training from around 18 months. But long before this, your child can start learning about wee and poo and developing the skills they will need to help them with potty training. Teaching your child how to use a potty and feel comfortable around wee and poo gives them a gentle journey towards moving on from nappies.
To help prepare:
- Check they are passing some soft poo every day and there’s no underlying constipation. If you think your child might be constipated, it's important to sort this out before you stop using nappies.
- Talk about wee and poo when you change them and let them see you use the toilet. This shows your child that it's a normal part of life and nothing to be afraid of.
- Make sure your child has plenty of water-based drinks on top of any milk. Keeping their bladder and bowel healthy and working properly will help with potty training.
- Introduce a potty as soon as your child can safely sit up on their own. You can use nappies most of the time, then take them off when your little one is likely to go.
- Good times to try sitting on the potty include shortly after they wake up, after mealtimes, and any time you think they need to go (if you spot a poo face for example!)
- Once your child can stand up, do nappy or pull-up changes standing up. Involve them in cleaning up or flushing poo down the toilet. This shows your child where wee and poo goes.
- Try to change your child’s nappies or pull-ups as soon as they are wet or soiled. This teaches your child that is it normal to be clean and dry.
- Have regular, short periods without wearing a nappy or pull-up to help prepare your child for how it will feel when they stop using them. Just after they’ve done a wee or a poo is the best time to try this.
For more information and resources on potty and toilet training, visit ERIC, The Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity