When and how to potty train


Knowing when to start potty training can be a worrying time for parents and if this is your ‘first time’ you can feel unsure of when and what is the best way to potty train. Most children learn between 18 and 24 months but this can vary depending on gender.

At PACS we have had the opportunity to see many children move through the different stages of development and have been able to help and advise parents through them including toilet training. The most important thing to remember is to not worry about it, every child is different and therefore, different techniques and timeframes apply.


Not all children learning to potty training at the same age and therefore it is important that instead of looking at the age you should instead look for signs of readiness, like the following;

  • They follow simple instructions
  • They understand and use words about associated with the potty
  • They can make the connection between the urge to pee or poop and using the potty
  • Keep a nappy dry for 2 hours or more
  • They go to the potty, sit on it for enough time, and then get off the potty
  • They are pulling down nappies, disposable training pants, or underpants
  • They show an interest in using the potty or wearing underpants

It is also wise to think about when you potty train to not have any major life changes happening, for example moving house or a new baby or when you child is ill. The time of year can be important too, as it much easier to clean and dry clothes in Summer.


  • There are lots of different ways to potty train and you need to find what works best for you , your child and your routines. However, some key tips are:
  • Set aside some time to devote to the potty-training process. It will take some time.
  • Don’t make your child sit on the toilet against his or her will.
  • Show your child how you sit on the toilet and explain what you’re doing. If you have older siblings this is a great way to show your younger one how to use the toilet.
  • Establish a routine. For example, first thing in the morning, about 45 minutes to an hour after drinking lots of liquids or eating
  • Avoid clothes that are hard to take off. Clothing they can take off themselves really helps.
  • Offer your child small rewards, such as stickers or time reading, every time your child goes in the potty and maybe once they are starting to master it a bigger reward.
  • Make sure all caregivers — including babysitters, grandparents, and childcare workers — follow the same routine and use the same names for body parts etc
  • Remember that accidents will happen. Don’t punish potty-training children or show disappointment when they wet or soil themselves or the bed its an accident and they need your support.

Whats on at PACS

Totally Toddlers – Mondays 10.00-12.00pm

Mid Harbours Family Centre. Come join us for Storytime, craft and play.  

Bumps & Babies – Wednesdays 9.30am – 12pm

The Living Room Café (Methodist Church). Our regular social catch up for parents to be and babies in a home from home atmosphere. This is a relaxed session where parents can meet up with their young babies to enjoy a cup of tea, make friends and talk about the highs and lows of parenting. 

Cooking Club – Wednesday & Friday 12.30 – 2.15pm

Cooking Club at the Methodist Church. A fun session aimed at toddlers aged from 2 .5 upwards giving children the chance to make and try different foods. Booking required.

Sensory Story Time – Thursdays 1.00 – 2.00pm

Come join us at the Methodist Church for some interactive Story Time Fun! Different themes every week!

Diddy Discoverers – Fridays 9.45 -11.45am

Come join us at the Methodist Church for free play, story time and song time fun!

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