Welcome to Mothercare

a guide to toilet training

bathing buyers guide

a guide to toilet training

Toilet training is a major milestone for all children (and parents). Dealing calmly with the transition from nappies to using the toilet independently is vital to building your child's confidence. It can be a long drawn-out process and often takes longer than parents would like it to take, however, your child will get there in the end and a little patience and lots of spare pants, are the key to success.

What you may need

  • Potty
  • Re-useable pants (plastic pants with terry lining) x 4
  • Packet of disposable trainer pants
  • Toilet step so your child can reach the toilet or wash basin
  • Toilet training seat for the loo
  • Mattress protectors x 2
  • Change bag with plenty of spare pants, clothes, wipes and nappy sacks for wet clothing etc.
  • Travel potty

When to start

Take the lead from your child - if he or she starts to show an interest and an awareness of what's happening to his or her body try introducing a potty - this maybe when your child is around two years old. But remember every child is different and there is no need to rush.

By three years of age most children have fairly reliable bladder and bowel control, but some aren't ready to start toilet training until they are four; this is nothing to worry about. Most children follow this sequence: night time bowel control, daytime bowel control, daytime bladder control and finally, night time bladder control.

When to start

  • If you're planning to start, always have a potty around so your little one can get used to sitting on it.
  • Dress your child in easy to manage clothing - summer is a great time to start.
  • Try to establish a daily routine. Sitting your child on his or her potty at certain times during the day may help e.g. after meal times. But always give your child plenty of encouragement and never force your child - always go at your child's pace.
  • It is very important not to put your child under any pressure - knowing a nappy is going back on at bedtime can be very comforting for your child.
  • Once your child uses the potty regularly during the day, you can then move onto the real toilet with the help of a toilet trainer
  • Being able to control the bladder at night is the final stage for your child. Remember a child of two or three can't hold urine for much longer than four to five hours.
  • Bed-wetting is very common up to the age of seven and boys are especially prone. It can be hereditary - check this out with your family.
  • If training twins try not to compare them.
  • Let your child's nursery, nanny or childminder know that you have started toilet training.

Find out more: