First Time User? Enroll now.
Notice of Data Security Incident
COVID-19: Vaccine information, visitor restrictions, and additional resources | Medicaid: The program is changing and you must take steps to keep your UNC Health providers
Home > Health Library > Toilet Training: Knowing When Your Child Is Ready
It can be hard to know when and how to go about toilet training. Although your child should show physical and emotional signs that he or she is ready, such as letting you know when he or she has had a bowel movement and wanting to wear underpants, there usually is not a dramatic moment that clearly shows your child is ready.
Mixed messages from doctors, parents, and friends and past experiences with other children may all add to this confusion. The timing varies by child. Try not to compare your child to others or be concerned by stories about how early your parents or in-laws trained their children.
Your best strategy is to closely watch your child and look for the physical and emotional signs that he or she is ready. You can provide a potty chair or attachment to a standard toilet and talk with your child about the process and the good things about using the toilet. Consider your child's feelings and personality in your approach. As you start to understand your child's reactions, you will get a better sense of exactly when and how to gently encourage your child, and when to back off. Be patient, keep trying, and respect your child's abilities.
Current as of:
February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineSusan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Current as of: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.