Helping Your Child to Know When it's Time to "Go"

Toilet training often begins when parents recognise their toddler’s signs of either going to the toilet or needing to go. Understandably, this recognition from parents usually comes long before the toddler has any idea what’s happening.

It’s up to you to help your toddler understand the connection between their wiggling, leg crossing or crotch grabbing, and their need to go to the toilet or potty.

The key to effective toilet training is making sure that your toddler recognises the urge to wee or poo and acts on the impulse, rather than them simply working on the assumption that there is one certain age to start toilet training.

Big Kid Readiness Quiz

Think Your Child is Ready?

Well, lets just see how ready they are.

Take our short quiz detailing the five most telling signs that your child is ready for toilet training. We’ll show you what to look for and when to act. Just answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to indicate whether your child almost always displays these behaviours.

Common Signals

  • Moving from one foot to another
  • Dancing or wiggling on the spot
  • Facial expressions
  • Grabbing at the genitals (especially boys)
  • Passing wind prior to needing to poo

Teaching Your Toddler to Recognise the Urge

Teaching your toddler to recognise the urge to go to the toilet, and knowing when to start toilet training can be tricky. Here are a few ideas to use.

  • Kids love to copy their parents, so next time you feel the urge to go to the toilet, let your toddler know what’s happening.
  • Lose your inhibitions and let your toilet trainee accompany you to the toilet.
  • Talk about times that you might recognise the urge, like after eating or having a big drink.
  • Make it seem like great fun to go the toilet.
  • Familiarise yourself with some toilet training myths.
  • Encourage your toddler to tell you what you should do if you think you need to do a wee.
  • Start talking in their language, use poo and wee or other words that you are both comfortable with.
  • Praise them for telling you they’re pants are wet, it’s the 1st step in them recognising the urge to wee.
  • If they show you that they need to go to the toilet, tell them “you’ve got a wee/poo coming, let’s go to the potty”.
  • If they pass wind, get them to recognise the smell as a signal that a poo might be coming.

If your child is recognising the urge to wee, chances are they are ready to start toilet training. Just make sure you’re prepared with the best toilet training products and toilet training tools.