When to start toilet training

Most toddlers are generally ready for toilet training somewhere between two and three although some children are early starters and show signs of readiness at 18 months. Day-time training is usually accomplished long before night-time training, which may not happen until he’s 5 or 6 years old.

Your child is ready for toilet-training if you notice some of the following signs:

  • he begins to have dry nappies during the day – this indicates that he is starting to learn control of his bladder
  • he tells you when he’s done a wee or poo – if he starts telling you in advance that he needs to do a wee, he’s well on the way to toilet training
  • he tries to take off his nappy when it’s wet or dirty, or complains about it being wet or dirty
  • he no longer does ‘baby’ poo, instead he produces soft but properly formed poo
  • he is curious about what goes in the toilet
  • he is interested when you go to the toilet – by watching you go to the toilet, he’ll quickly learn what is supposed to happen there
  • he is interested in completing tasks independently
  • he understands and can follow simple instructions
  • he can get his pants up and down independently

This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health and Raising Children Network


  1. Mands1980 05/08/2018 at 9:46 am

    Summertime is a great time to put them into undies and no nappys while at home and then encourage them often to go to the toilet. This can not be rushed they must be ready but I found by putting them in undies they hated being wet as with nappys it disappears and they don’t worry as moisture absorbs into them. All 3 of my children were between 2-3 and were completely toilet trained but if really tired they occasionally wet the bed so there is a lot to take into consideration when deciding to toilet train.

  2. kymmage 01/08/2018 at 6:04 pm

    A lot depends on your kid, that’s for sure. I had one wilful child who was ready to day train and still not really day trained for a year after she was clearly ready. This did make me a bit blasé about it all in the end. She was night ready much sooner! With my youngest I figured it would be around 4 to train. She was ready and keen at 2 years old and smashed it with barely an accident.

  3. Jen_Wiig 01/08/2018 at 5:26 pm

    My youngest little man who is three and a half has all the signs of readiness but what I’m really struggling with which I didn’t have with the other 2 is his total stubbornness… He point blank refused to use the toilet, try out undies or anything related to starting toilet training. I’ve tried bribery and corruption, tried the threats like u won’t get to go on the PlayStation and nothing seems to work… I thought it was me for awhile but he started kind about 2mths ago and they have said sake sort of thing… So loads of reading and and getting advise of parent forums for me I think, I don’t ever remember my other w boys being this stubborn they couldn’t wait to not have to have nappy anymore haha

Leave A Comment