How do I start potty training?

Creating a sense of routine makes toilet training easier on you and your child. Here’s how to get started.

Mum potty training her child

Get your child used to the potty

Don’t feel you have to switch straight to a potty. Keep using nappies when you go out, at night, or whenever works for you.

  • Note the times your child has a poo. Try leaving their nappy off around those times and see if they want to use the potty.
  • Encourage your child to sit on the potty when they’re likely to need to go, such as after a meal or before bed.
  • Having ‘potty time’ every couple of hours will get your child used to regularly needing a poo or wee.
  • Encourage your child to use the potty if they show or tell you they need a wee. It’s fine to stick to wees until they build up the confidence to do a poo in the potty.

Praise, don't punish

Children love praise, and it’s really important in potty training. Give your child lots of encouragement whenever they succeed.

Remember that accidents are inevitable, so don’t punish your child. Keep calm and clean up when you need to. Let your child know it’s OK to make mistakes and that they’ll get the hang of it.

Make it as easy as possible

  • Keep clothing simple – make it easy for your child to pull things up, down or off.
  • Keep it short. Your child usually won’t need more than a couple of minutes on the potty. Leave a few toys close by to keep them engaged.
  • It’s fine for boys to sit down to have a wee. If you want to teach standing up, it can come later.
  • Keep potties around the house, and in each bathroom if you have more than one. Take a potty when you go out, too.
  • Take time to think about when might be the best time to start potty training your child. Or read our tips on managing the process. 


Want more support? For advice on your specific issue, speak to one of our parenting coaches. 

Go back

Potty training tips to help manage the process


Understanding and managing my child’s behaviour


How do I prepare my child for potty training?


What can I do if my child has a tantrum?


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