When do I toilet train my child? 
Most children are ready to learn how to use the toilet between 2 and 3 years of age.

Your child may be ready for learning when:

  • He stays dry for two or more hours.
  • He shows an interest in the toilet.
  • He is willing to learn.
  • He can dress and undress himself.
  • He can tell when he is “going,” that is, urinating and having a bowel movement.
 Helping Your Child Learn to Use the Toilet
  • Don’t start toilet training if there are major changes in your child’s routine.
  • Use words you want your child to use when discussing urinating and bowel movements
  • Dress your child in clothes they can manage
  • Show your child the potty and explain its use
  • Have your child sit on the potty without a diaper on, so she can get used to it.
  • Take your child to the potty when her diaper is dirty. Empty the diaper into the potty to show the connection between the diaper and the potty.
  • Encourage your child to tell you when she needs to urinate.  Even if she tells you after she has gone in her diaper, make sure to praise her.
  • Watch for signs that your child needs to urinate and suggest a trip to the potty
  • Take your child to the potty as soon as he asks
  • Don’t force your child to stay on the potty.
  • Expect some accidents, and do not punish your child when these happen.  This is a new habit and can take months to learn.
  • Tell him it is okay and that he can try again later.
  • Be relaxed and positive. Praise success.
  • Every child is different. Relax and follow your child’s lead about how best to help him learn.
  • Once your child has successfully used the potty for one week, suggest that she use training pants in the daytime. Keeping dry at night can take much longer for children to master.

  1. Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Interagency Committee, Let’s Grow…your 2 to 2 ½ year  old. Austin Graphics, 2003
  2. www.caringforkids.cps.ca/behaviour/ToiletLearning.htm, Toilet Learning.