Toilet training

Toilet training is an important developmental milestone for children. As well as being a physical necessity to be able to urinate and defecate successfully and to understand the importance of hygiene and cleanliness, there are also social and cultural aspects to the process of toilet training. It's important to work closely with parents to support their child's toilet training journey. 

PACEY President and reknowned early years expert, Penny Tassoni, talks about the physical signs that a child is ready to begin toilet training. Trying to begin toilet training before a child is physically ready to do so can result in a frustrating experience for everyone.

Top toilet training tips

There are some tried and tested methods of supporting a young child with their toilet training. Read our top tips.

Help for parents
Many childcare providers have found that being able to share written, independent information with parents can be beneficial. Download our free factsheet on toilet training to share with parents. Having information like this can be reassuring to parents and help them to understand that not all children will be ready to move out of nappies at the same time. 



In your setting

How do you support children and parents with their toilet training journey? It's worth taking some time to explore and reflect on how you support toilet training in your setting. Being able to explain your setting's approach to toilet training is important when meeting new parents or talking to your inspector. These questions may be a good starting point.

  • What are your own views and beliefs around toilet training?
  • How does this shape your practice?
  • What understanding do you have of children’s physical development?
  • What facilities do you have to promote and support independent toilet training? – for example, a downstairs toilet; potty; child's toilet seat. Can these be accessed independently by the child?
  • If you are concerned that a child is not achieving independent toilet training successfully would this trigger any other concerns regarding their development?