Is your child ready for toilet training?

undies toddler
undies toddler 


All parents - and their children - will suffer setbacks during toilet training. But by remaining patient and positive, the end result will come more quickly.

And it's certainly easier for both you and your child to stay patient and positive if you wait until they seem ready to start the process. That will also mean less set-backs in the long run. 

So when is the right time to get training under way?

While many parents are eager to start their child's toilet training journey when they're around two years of age - some even start at 18 months - it's always best to check if they're showing their own signs of readiness. Those signs can be both physical and mental.

The following checklist can help you know if it's time to start thinking about it all.  

Signs of readiness

• Your child's toilet habits will begin to change, and they'll be staying dryer for longer - often more in the day as they will begin to control their bladder more.

• Their bowel movements will also become more regular, and you'll have come to expect poos at certain times in the day.


• Your child is at a point where they can begin to follow instructions in other aspects of their life.

• They can pull their own pants up and down.

• Your child is more independent in a variety of ways - they might insist on doing things for themselves, and say 'I do it!' or 'no!' a lot.

• They will begin to notice and show an interest in others going to the toilet, or in wearing underpants or pull-ups training pants.

• Your child will begin to tell you when their nappy is dirty, or may even make a very obvious physical demonstration, like grunt or squat.

• You child will actually tell you they don't like the feeling of their wet nappy (this is an excellent start!).

Keep in mind that there are other factors that can hinder your child's toilet training; disruptions to routine, a new addition to the family, or anything that may stress your child can have an impact. Try to time the start of the process so these kinds of things will occur once it's well established, or hold off for a little longer.  

So what's next? Check out what you'll need to start the toilet training process

For more toilet training information, visit

You can also read Essential Baby for more stories about toilet training.