Wandsworth Preschool and Nursery

How to toilet train your child

Toilet training is a major milestone in the development of every child and, although it’s a rewarding time, some parents may also dread it.

When it comes to toilet training your little ones, it’s important to start the process when you child is exhibiting the signs of being ready. It’s also essential that you create a positive relaxed environment and celebrate your child’s achievements when they are successful.

Working with your child’s nursery will ensure consistency in your approach, as the process will prove to be more successful for your child if they have a routine.

When do I start toilet training?

It’s important to remember there is no set time when toilet training should commence. If you start too early, it can result in more accidents, a slower training process, and could cause distress for both you and your child. Your child needs to be able to follow instructions to get on and off the potty/toilet voluntarily. They need to be at a stage where they are able to tell you ahead of needing to go to the toilet and want to feel dry and clean.

If you think your child is ready, let the staff at their nursery know, so you can work together to make the toilet training process consistent and a seamless success.


Signs your child is ready to start toilet training

  • They know when their nappy is dry and wet, and they tell you
  • They know when they are passing urine and can tell you
  • They know when they are about to pass urine
  • They express discomfort about having a wet or dirty nappy
  • They are dry for at least an hour or two at a time

How do I prepare my child for toilet training?

It is best to introduce your child to toilet training gradually. Have a potty available so your child can get used to seeing and then using it. During a relaxed time of the day, explain to your child what it’s for and encourage them to sit on it to get a feel for it. If they use the potty, it’s important that you celebrate their success, but if not, take them off before they become uncomfortable. The most important thing to remember is to avoid any negative comments.

What equipment do I need?

Some children prefer potties and some prefer toilets. As a potty is mobile, it’s easier to start your child on one as it will give them more independence. There are a vast range of potties and toilet seats on the market, so it’s a good idea to take your child with you when you buy one. Remember if you’re using a toilet seat, you will need a step, so your child can sit on it themselves.

You can use knickers/pants when training a child or pull ups, which are training nappies. Use whichever your child is more comfortable with.

Tips for the toilet training process

  • Encourage your child to sit on their potty once a day prior to their being ready to be trained.
  • Once your child is ready to train your child let your nursery know that you are starting the process.
  • Set aside a few days at home to train your child. Give them plenty to drink. Ask them to let you know when they need to go to the toilet.
  • Sit them on the toilet regularly through the day
  • Sit with your child and talk to them in a calm and positive way.
  • If your child is successful, let them see you empty the contents into the toilet and pull the flush together.
  • Encourage them to wash their hands so they begin to establish a routine.
  • If they don’t succeed don’t mention it and try they next day, but don’t force it.
  • When they are having success, set some days aside to just concentrate on toilet training.
  • Accidents will happen, it’s all part of the learning process. When they do, it’s important not to get angry or tell your child off.
  • For a few weeks after, check in with them regularly to see if they need the toilet.
  • When you are out, ensure you take spare clothes in case of an accident.
  • When they are consistently dry when they wake up, they may be ready to come out of nappies at night.
  • It may be wise to use a waterproof sheet for a few weeks in case of accidents.

Following these simple tips will help to make the toilet training process easier and your child’s nursery will help along the way. Here at The Wandsworth Preschool, we work in partnership with you throughout the whole process. We will follow your lead and continue any training you have started, whilst keeping you informed of any progress at nursery. We will give your child lots of positive encouragement and praise them for their success, following all health and safety practices along the way.

If you have any questions about our role in the toilet training process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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