While Britain is in the midst of a toilet-training crisis we share our top tips on teaching your child to use the loo

Amanda Spielman told nursery leaders yesterday that it was a “simple but necessary expectation”.

She added it must become a “co-operative exercise” between parents and nursery staff, as mums and dads cannot do it in a weekend.

Toilet training is something every parent fears.

But this life skill is at an all-time “loo” as teachers waste more than a million hours of lesson time a year toilet-training primary pupils.

A survey found that a fifth of staff spend up to 30 minutes a week dealing with basic hygiene issues that have not been addressed at home.

While Britain is in the midst of a toilet-training crisis, NIKKI WATKINS enlists potty trainer Amanda Jenners to give her top tips on teaching your tot to use the loo.


There is no set age for potty training, but it is key to look for signs of readiness.

Tots will usually stop in their tracks once they wee or poo in their nappy. They may even hide when they are doing a poo, and this is a sign they are becoming aware of what they are doing.

It is really important to use the words wee or poo when they start to show signs of readiness.

Good communication skills are key so the toddler starts to inform you when they are ready to go on to the potty or toilet.


Timing is crucial. Do not start if you are moving house, there is a new baby in the family, your child has been poorly or had a change of nursery.

Make sure your toddler is involved in the process by taking them to pick their potty, toilet training seat and their big pants as this will help make it feel exciting.

It is also important to let everyone who looks after your child know that you have started toilet training. Tell them what techniques you are using. A reward chart or sticker system helps to keep everything consistent and avoid training setbacks.

Do not interrupt or stop toilet training if they are spending a night away at a friend’s house as they will become easily confused.


Even when your child has been successfully potty trained and dry for weeks, they can still go backwards due to life changes, such as starting a new nursery.

Getting impatient with setbacks could lead to them holding in their poo and getting constipated, so do not get stressed.


It is important not to start bedtime training until they have been consistently dry in the daytime for at least six weeks.

At bedtime, try to reduce their liquid intake, including fruit, 30 minutes before bedtime. Get a night light as getting up in the dark to use their potty can cause anxiety and bed wetting.

Buy a good bedtime story on toilet training to read to them. This keeps potty training in their minds.


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