Skip to content
8 signs your child is ready for toilet training

8 signs your child is ready for toilet training

Signs of Readiness for Potty Training

Regardless of the timing of your toddler's initiation into toilet training, indicators will begin to emerge that suggest it is the appropriate time.

 Baby Toilet Training

As their sense of autonomy develops, they will become increasingly intrigued by the workings of their body and will aspire to imitate the process of using the toilet. If you are anxious to determine when your child will exhibit the readiness for potty training, it is now imperative to begin observing for the following signs:

Below, we have outlined four of the most prevalent indicators:

1. Asking to wear ‘big-kid pants’ 

If your child has begun showing an interest in transitioning to "big-kid underwear," it could be an indication that they are ready for more independence. This curiosity may stem from observing your bathroom habits or a dislike for wearing diapers. To aid your child during this phase, a helpful suggestion is to introduce them to Snazzipants Training Pants. These absorbent pull-ups provide the comfort and excitement of "big-kid pants" while preventing leaks and minimizing mess. Designed to effectively absorb any leaks, our Day-time Training Pants are an ideal companion for the transition into big-kid mode.

2. Showing interest in using the toilet

If your child starts showing curiosity about the toilet, asks questions, or imitates family members using the bathroom, it can be a sign that they are ready for toilet training.

3. Staying dry for longer periods

If your child consistently stays dry for at least two hours or wakes up from naps with a dry diaper, it may indicate that they have developed the ability to control their bladder and can hold urine for longer periods.

4. Awareness of bodily functions

If your child starts recognizing their bodily functions by showing signs like squatting, hiding, or going to a specific place before soiling their diaper, it may indicate that they are ready for toilet training.

5. Communicating their needs

Your toddler might start indicating when they have a wet or soiled diaper. They might pull at their diaper, vocalize their discomfort, or use words or gestures to let you know they need a diaper change. This shows that they are aware of their bodily functions and can communicate their needs, which is an important skill for potty training.

6. Hiding or seeking privacy

Your toddler might start showing signs of wanting privacy when they have a bowel movement. They might go to a corner or hide behind furniture, indicating that they understand the concept of privacy and feel more comfortable doing their business in a private space.

7. Celebrate Milestones and Successes

Celebrate milestones and successes along the way. Praise your child for their efforts and accomplishments, and consider implementing a reward system to further encourage their progress. This could involve small treats or privileges for consistently using the bathroom correctly.

8. Ability to follow simple instructions

If your child has developed the cognitive and motor skills necessary to follow basic instructions, such as pulling down their pants or sitting on a potty chair, it can be a sign that they are ready for toilet training.


Preparation Tips for Toilet Training a Toddler

Some tips for success on this new journey for you and your child:

Picture books for toilet training: 

Reading aloud to children can not only help them better understand toilet training, but it can also spark their interest in it. To help young children visualize using the toilet, it can be helpful to read them a funny or entertaining story about a character learning to use the toilet. If read aloud in a quiet setting, such as a bedroom or toy room, this type of story can help children feel less overwhelmed and even more excited about the process.

When it comes to toilet training, consistency is very important. So if you have a partner, make sure you are on the same page before you begin.



a) Potty

Children usually begin toilet training with either a potty or a toilet. If you chose to use a potty first, it can be used before your baby shows signs of wanting to use the toilet.  

A potty can be placed in the nursery or playroom to help your child become familiar with sitting on it. While he is playing, you can talk to him about the potty, what it is and why he should use it. This builds the child's confidence before they start using it. 

Usually, either a potty or the toilet is used to initiate toilet training in children. If you choose to use the potty first, you can do so before your child shows signs of needing to go potty. A potty can be placed in your child's room so he can get used to using it. You can talk to him about the potty, what it is and why he should use it while having fun. This will help the child's confidence grow before they start using it.


b) Toilet

Some people choose not to use a potty at all, and that's okay! Using the regular toilet is a good start for many children, so it comes down to personal preference. If you do use the regular toilet, you may want to use a smaller toilet seat with a step so your child can reach the toilet and feel supported and secure enough to relax their body. 

Alternatively, you can purchase a special toilet seat that has one seat for adults and one for children, and you can easily flip it around depending on who is using it. If you are physically able and willing, you can also support your child while they use the toilet. However, this can be difficult if you are encouraging them to use the toilet independently or if you are busy with other tasks.

Children's toilet seats like the Step Ladder (PM2697) - BEE Potty Seat can be detached from the ladder and used separately feature a step and potty seat that can be placed on top of the adult toilet seat, giving children the confidence to use the "big toilet" while supporting their little bodies.


Magnetic Toilet Training Chart

A toilet training chart can be very helpful in getting the encouragement you need for successful toilet training. Be generous with your encouragement! The first step to success can be a willingness to sit on the potty. “Wow, Mila. You look like you are having fun sitting on the potty.”

Praise any steps toward independence. “Way to go Sweetie, you used the potty all by yourself!”

 A star chart can encourage focus on specific areas, such as remembering to go potty alone, washing hands, or doing the twos. A small reward helps keep focus!


Extra Things:

Once your home and your child are ready, there are a few extra things you can do to help them feel prepared.


1. Underwear shopping

As a first step, go underwear shopping with your child. Giving your child the opportunity to pick out fun underwear in their favourite colour, with cartoon characters or pictures can help them get excited about wearing it.


2. Decide on a weekend

It is best to start on a weekend or a long weekend without many activities. Since toilet training is a big adjustment for your child, it's best to have him stay home and go about his usual routine without a lot of distractions so your child does not feel overwhelmed.

Before the scheduled weekend, talk to your child about having to say goodbye to diapers, why they are going, and that they will be a "big kid" from now on and will be using the toilet/potty to go.


3. Show and tell

Involve your toddler when you use the bathroom and toilet. Whenever possible, ask him to come into the room while you are using the toilet. Talk to him about the process, give him verbal cues to connect when he starts the process, and ask him to push the flush button and wash his hands with you each time. A visual demonstration by a trusted and loved parent or older sibling can help normalise the experience and give toddlers the confidence to feel comfortable using the toilet, especially if they are afraid of flushing or the toilet seat.


Keep your child clean and hygienic :)

Keeping your child clean and dry during the process will help them feel comfortable going to the bathroom. Learning to properly control the body’s natural tendencies and timing of elimination can be a very vulnerable time for your child. This will help children feel that going to the bathroom is not a punishment, but a simple experience.


- When your child has done his business on the toilet or potty, wipe his bottom until he can do it himself. Be sure to wipe it from front to back, especially for girls. If he resists you wiping it, encourage him to try it himself and either lead him by the hand, practice taking turns, or he does it and you "check" to see if there is anything left.

- When toilet training boys, you can put a ping pong ball in the toilet to help them aim, and when they are done peeing, teach them to shake themselves. Some children or parents prefer to put them on the toilet or potty first, which can get a little messy. In this case, show them how to put everything face down in the toilet or potty, and have plenty of baby wipes on hand to help them clean up quickly afterwards.

- Hand washing after toileting or potty training is an important skill. Show them how to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. 

- Other small but very useful tool that could be essential for you Dreambaby® Toilet Locks, it will not only prevent dangerous accidents before they can happen, but also help stop the spread of illness causing germs and stop toddlers from throwing toys and valuables into the toilet (No tools required for installation).


What to do if you’re out?

During toilet training, you may want to stay home for a few weekends until your child feels comfortable using the toilet and recognises his or her body's signals. However, you can’t stay home forever. So what do you do when you are away?


1. Realise that there will probably be an accident or two. Introducing a new environment that your child is not used to and the excitement of going somewhere can distract your child from paying attention to his or her body signs. 

2. Pack a few extra clothes when you go out, as well as a waterproof bag or plastic bag for dirty clothes in case your child needs to change.

3. Try to take your child out without a diaper on a day when you can go straight home if they have an accident. If something does happen, use gentle and encouraging language to help your child get through what may be an embarrassing experience.

Some additional hot tips

  • Set aside a few books and CDs for your child to listen to while potty training!
  • Let children decide for themselves when to go potty. The earlier a child takes on this task themselves, the better.
  • Keep diapers for sleeping only. Diapers signal that it's okay to wet or fill them at any time and can reduce the incentive to use the toilet or potty.
  • Use pants or trainer pants. This helps the child associate the feeling of being wet with what he or she just did.
  • Dress your child in clothes that he can easily take off by himself.
  • Boys love this: – put a ping pong ball in the toilet for them to aim at. This is a great incentive to go and helps little ones focus.
  • Allow your child to flush the ball away themselves.
  • Provide a special chair or stool for him to go to the toilet on.
  • Use a doll or large stuffed animal in role play. Pretend the doll is the child and have the doll show you how to use the toilet or potty properly. Encourage and praise the doll and demonstrate the entire process, including hand washing.
  • Sing a special song or make up your own "rap" to accompany each part of the toilet routine. This can work very well because it is fun and takes the pressure off the performance.


How do you handle accidents during toilet training?

Whether or not your child regresses, accidents can still occur after a period of appearing to go to the bathroom. Avoid shaming or blaming your child in this situation. Use positive language and encourage your child to keep trying.

Mastering the toilet is an exciting milestone – especially when you can walk right past the diaper rack in the store. By approaching toilet training with kindness, compassion and patience, and making sure your child is really ready before he or she starts, you can ensure that the experience is enjoyable for the whole family.

Explore our selection of toiletries from babyOnline, including NappiesRaised Toilet Seats and more.


Remember, every child is different, and there's no set age for when your toddler will be ready for potty training. These signs are just general guidelines to look out for. The most important thing is to be patient, supportive, and consistent during the potty training process. If your child is still in nappies, check out our New arrival Dryups nappies pants.


More questions?

If you need any advice about toilet training for your baby, please get in touch or visit us at 16 Gabador Place, Auckland, New Zealand and one of our trained specialists will be able to guide you.


Disclaimer: At BabyOnline, we select and write about the products we love and think you'll like too! Always check with your midwife or a medical professional or paediatrician about anything pregnancy and baby related, including items in this post.


Thanks for reading the blog :)

Previous article The Top 13 right ways for dads to bond with babies
Free Gift