Parents Share Their Best Tips for Toilet Training

We asked our Tots to Teens parents what great advice they could share about toilet training toddlers, to create our list of “best tips”.

Clever tips

For the boys….put a ping pong ball in the toilet for them to aim at. Gives great incentive for wanting to go and helps keep a young one focused. ~ Sophie

Our little guy loves our brightly wrapped ecoroll TP – he get’s to unwrap them like they are special presents. It’s really helped with the excitement of using the toilet. ~ Caylie

Put a floating target to shoot at in the toilet bowl for boys! ~ Amanda

My best tip would be limit liquid intake 1-2 hours before bedtime and take the child to the toilet right before bedtime – creating a routine usually works for us. ~ Warren

My best tip for toilet training is to print off pictures that are laminated, and blue tack them to the wall. ~ Gilly

Reusable pull ups have been a great purchase here while toilet training. They catch a little bit, so trousers are still dry, but are still wet so that she can feel when she has been. ~ Kirsty

Go cold turkey. Don’t try pull ups. Straight to undies so the child can feel the wetness when they wet themselves. ~ Joanna

Wait until it’s summer, roll up the rugs and don’t stress too much. ~ Amanda

Using a waterproof mat for playing whilst learning to use the toilet to avoid huge clean-ups from accidents. ~ Krystal

it starts with communication

We did a lot of baby sign language with our toddler and now every-time he needs to go for #1 or #2 he does the sign. it’s a game for him (same when he does the food or the sleep sign). It eliminated a lot of frustration on both sides (kid and parents). ~ Beatriz

Elimination communication! It’s such an awesome concept and act where parents become sensitive to their baby’s facial expressions and body language and allow their baby to signal when they want to go to the toilet. When the baby has signalled that it wants to go, the parent can say associative words like pee pee for wee or poo poo for poop. This enables the baby to feel empowered from the early stages and works wonders when they do get to the stage of using the toilet all by themselves. ~ Isabella

We’d talk about the expectation and the reward first. We’d tune into their best/most necessary times. ~ Lynn

Go regularly! But also respect the ‘no’s!  Your child may genuinely not need to go, or it may end in wet pants, but your child’s starts to understand their own body and be familiar with their toileting needs, so they take ownership of the choice/need to go. ~ Amber

Getting comfortable

Sitting on the potty watching his favourite story helped us a lot…we spent a lot of hours on the potty which helped familiarise the feeling of sitting on the potty. ~ Natasha

Get your child involved by helping to pick the potty etc. and leave the potty in a convenient place. Make sure your child is ready – do not force this. Look for ways to invite them to be curious and make progress in their own time. ~ Becks

Lots of trouser free time and having a toilet seat that was very secure and not wobbly. ~ Joanna

Letting the child go around with no nappies, and also when using nappies, choose reusable as they can feel the wet more which is an uncomfortable feeling. ~ Marika

We use the potty first, which we let our little ones use in their own time. Then later we just ask if them “can I take you to the toilet?”, holding their hand and walking them to the big toilet. We then read to them or sing a song in the toilet, and they relax and do their thing without being pressured. ~ Brigida

The smallest one isn’t quite ready for toilet training yet, but we have the potty out anyway. He loves to play with it, and he likes to practice sitting on it – clothes on or off. One time he accidentally did a wee, and we praised him a lot for it. But mostly it’s just a part of the furniture… so when it comes time to actually toilet train, he is already comfortable with the equipment used. The same goes for pulling off pieces of toilet paper and flushing them – he likes practicing what he thinks we do, and it builds confidence, even if he isn’t quite sure why we do it yet. ~ Caroline

Start early  – as soon as they can sit up by themselves in a potty chair  – let them sit for a short (accompanied) time at nappy changing sessions. Big praise when (by complete accident of course)  a wee or a poo is caught. Gradual easy association. ~ Janet

Consistency and reinforcement

Rewards charts with special treats are really good for encouraging children to sit on the toilet. ~ Emma

Best toilet training tip for us was most definitely a reward chart and lots of patience. ~ Anna

Lots of encouragement and using pull up nappies to ease kiddos into it. ~ Hannah

My best toilet training tip is to take them often! No dramas about accidents, just loads of positive reinforcement of going potty and washing hands. ~ Alexis

No fear and lots of praise, without going too over the top. ~ Terene

I found routine worked for us. Up in the morning and straight to toilet, after breakfast again, after morning tea, before lunch, afternoon tea, before dinner, and before bed. Of course any times in between also. We used a sticker reward chart as incentive. ~ Amelia

Consistency is key. Pick your start day and prepare to spend up to 2 weeks at home watching your child like a hawk to get them on the potty as soon as they start weeing. ~ Melanie

I think consistency is key and also waiting until they’re ready and not worrying if it takes awhile. ~ Mallory

Patience, patience, and more patience 🙂 ~ Emily


Let them watch you go to the toilet! ~ Sally

My Nephew was taught to use the toilet by going to the bathroom with us when we went, and seeing us use the big toilet. He was fascinated and wanted to try for himself. Surprisingly it took less than a week to train him and he has been great ever since ~ Crystal

As embarrassing as it is, let your toddler watch you using the toilet, and talk about what you’re doing. It makes them see that using the toilet is a normal part of life, and they always love to be involved in things that Mummy and Daddy do! ~ Abby

Words of encouragement

Honestly don’t worry it will happen and go at their pace. ~ Gretchen

Don’t push it and don’t stress. ~ Jeni

Just take it easy. No need to rush or stress. It’ll happen when it happens. ~ Melisaa

Just do it when your child is ready not when someone tells you that your child should be. ~ Sabrina

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