5 Signs Your Toddler is ready for Potty Training

Crevette was completely out of nappies just after he was two. The fact he had been wearing washable nappies made the transition to underwear much easier. Washable nappies are less comfortable than disposable nappies when wet, so he understood pretty quickly that underwear and using the potty were much nicer than nappies. Easy peasy!

Beanie was a whole different story. After a positive first experience, I thought I knew what I was doing and took my little lady out of nappies around her 2nd birthday. It was not a smooth ride, let me tell you. I am not going to expand on that, but believe you me, a fair few pairs of knickers were thrown away in the process… there might even have been a puddle of urine or two in town. It took a good couple more years before she managed to stay dry during the day. Nights are still a work in progress.

Following all that, potty training Jumpy was not really on the cards. I just thought I would give myself plenty of time to start thinking about it. She started talking about using the toilet about six months ago, but I ignored her plea. I know, I know, listen to your child and all that… You know what? You have to choose your battles.

Although Jumpy was ready, I was not. Life was too busy. Wriggly was not sleeping, I was at work, I had just started to take blogging seriously, Beanie still had little accidents, the washing pile never seemed to diminish no matter how many loads I was going through each day and the mere thought of potty training horrified me to say the least.

5 Signs Your Toddler is ready for Potty Training
She kept asking and asking, so before our holidays, we went shopping for ‘big girl’ pants and she was very excited. When we arrived in France this summer, I simply took her nappies off and she used the toilet. It was not as simple and easy as that and there were a few leaks here and there, but she did a pretty good job.

At the moment, she is on and off in nappies or underwear and I am not worried. Neither am I stressing her about it. She will come out of nappies and use the potty eventually, right? Not being pushy or stressed about it seems to be the approach that works best in our house.

It would be presumptuous to tell you what to do and assume my method (i.e. having no method) is the one and only way to do things. However, looking back, although every child is different, here is what I have observed with my own children when they were ready for using the toilet.

5 signs your child is really ready for using the potty or toilet:

1- They start dressing and undressing themselves
2- Their nappies stay dry for longer periods of time than previously
3- They let you know they have just done a pee/poo in their nappy and want to get changed
4- They are interested in what goes on in the toilet
5- They can follow simple instructions and show an interest in being ‘a big boy/girl’

Jumpy was sent a couple of books recently, both on the theme of Growing up with Thomas. The first one, Thomas & Friends My Thomas Potty Book,  explains the process of moving out of nappies and starting using the toilet. With bright visuals and simple text, it describes choosing suitable underwear, talks about the potty, little accidents and general hygiene associated with using the toilet.

5 Signs Your Toddler is ready for Potty Training with a Little Bit of Help From Thomas & Friends

The cherry on the cake for my little girl is the reward chart. She absolutely loves adding stickers to the chart (included with the book) when she uses the toilet, and we have now displayed the chart on the fridge so she can count her stickers.

5 Signs Your Toddler is ready for Potty Training - Reward Chart

The second book, Thomas & Friends Well Done Thomas, Activity Book, is a brilliant resource for pre-schoolers. It is full of simple activities to teach young children how to be nice little members of society by encouraging positive behaviour and I enjoy going through it with my little girl.


– I was compensated for this post.
– All opinions and photographs are my own.

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  1. Don’t rush it and wait until they are showing signs

  2. iain maciver says:

    don’t rush it

  3. Paula Readings says:

    My best advice is patience & lots of praise.

  4. ashleigh allan says:

    just relax!

  5. Martina Pichova says:

    watch for the signs they are ready, don’t rush it

  6. Kay Panayi says:

    This looks great in just attempting to potty train my daughter

  7. Natalie Crossan says:

    Sticker reward charts 🙂

  8. Liam Bishop says:

    Only start when they are ready, pushing it won’t help.

  9. I had the same! It took me ages to potty train both of my children and nighttimes even longer. In my family we have a “history” of bed wetting (I was the same) so I have never worried that much. Take it easy it will happen naturally 🙂
    I love the photo with the knickers! Sweet!

  10. Invest in a waterproof mattress – they make cleaning up accidents in the night so much easier!

  11. Don’t try to force it when they are to young, wait until they are showing signs of readiness.

  12. Samantha Loughlin says:

    Keep t as fun and relaxed as you can and lots of praise

  13. Hi, I am Leila and we exchanged cards at the FBC. It was really nice to meet you. My daughter has turned 2 and she is showing signs but I am planning to start the potty training on hour family holiday in Brazil. She will be 2.5y and I am not rushing. You have a wonderful blog and I will be coming back very often. xx

    • It was lovely to meet you too, Leila! I agree with you and really think not rushing is the key to stress-free potty training. x

  14. stacy sorrell says:

    Have a potty in each room , we bought 4 from the pound shop, and put one in each room, that way theres no pressure to run fast to the potty, preventing accidents, as there is always one at close hand

  15. They will go when they are ready. Try not to stress out too much as it will scare them off doing it x

  16. Paula Barker says:

    Lots of patience and praise

  17. Harley Richardson says:

    Do it at their own pace x

  18. Andrea Fletcher says:

    Lots of patience and be prepared for accidents.

  19. Rachel Craig says:

    Be patient and understanding of the child, whilst acknowledging developmental attainments. Praise and encourage Good Behaviour.

  20. Joanne Hutchings says:

    Just don’t try to rush it!

  21. Perseverance!

  22. Kelly Donald-Pattullo says:

    Patience and lots of praise. Keep a potty close by

  23. Kirsty Ward says:

    Lots of Praise & Encouragement!

  24. kayleigh Bates says:

    Wait till they are ready

  25. laura stewart says:

    don’t rush them xx

  26. Natalie Charman says:

    Don’t pressure them

  27. Laura Loo says:

    Don’t rush it, wait until they are ready

  28. Corinne Peat says:

    Take your time, all kids develop at different rates.

  29. Ruth Harwood says:

    follow your child’s lead xx

  30. mummyfever says:

    Don’t rush

  31. mandydoherty65 says:

    Plenty of patience and praise

  32. Samantha Gratton says:

    My daughter is two years old in two weeks and we are in the process of potty training. She has big girl knickers and tells me when she needs a nappy and has done a wee or poo. She even takes her clothes off and nappy off. But won’t use a potty. She will ask for a nappy to be put on her when she needs to go and holds it in until a nappy is on. I’ve not rushed her or said anything just happily does as she wants and follows her lead xx

    • Awww bless her. I really agree with you 100%: following your little one’s lead should avoid frustration and she’ll eventually start using the toilet.

  33. Dawn McBride says:

    Don’t make it too much of a big deal.

  34. Clare Hubbard says:

    Patience! 🙂

  35. kimberley ryan says:

    i am currently trying to potty train my twin boys. one of my sons is doing amazing and was definitely ready, my other son is not interested. so my advice is wait until your child is ready they will let you know

  36. Susan Hunt says:

    don’t get angry if they have an accident as it will stop them asking for help

  37. Jennifer Potter says:

    Be patient and do it when your child is ready

  38. nicola clarkson says:

    take your time

  39. Julie Ward says:

    No rush, I think there is to much advice on what and what not to do

  40. Pam Francis Gregory says:

    Be patient!

  41. I bought a potty really early on and had it in the living room from about 6 months so my son was used to seeing it, then I set a side a week or 2 when i knew i could be at home and left him bottomless almost all day and took him to the potty when he started to wee, he was out of nappies day and night by 18 months, when you find yourself saving a fortune on nappies 🙂

  42. Claire Mayne says:

    Take some time off work and let them run around with very little clothes on.

  43. Cassandra Mayers says:

    Let them do it in there own time

  44. Betony Bennett says:


  45. Rachel Butterworth says:

    Be patient.

  46. Be consistent! It’s easy to give up after a few accidents but will only set you back 🙂

  47. michelle speight says:

    patience and lots of praise

  48. Rebecca Smith says:

    Having lots of spare underwear and patience

  49. Amelia Shackleton says:

    lots of patience and praise! They will get there, just dont worry 🙂

  50. Brenda Wilkes says:

    Stay calm!

  51. lizzyjanecooper says:

    Take your time !! 🙂

  52. Monica Gilbert says:

    Celebrate every success, no matter how small it seems.

  53. lots of patience and just remember kids develop at their own pace

  54. Robyn Clarke says:

    Take it one day at a time……or as our experience, one accident at a time!

  55. Ray Becker says:

    Do it in the potty not down the side

  56. I’m actually reading the comments for the advice as Mr. Man is taking a long time to get there despite trying loads of different techniques. I suppose they all progress at different rates and he’ll get there when he’s good and ready.

  57. Kerry Smith says:

    I have no advice my 2.5 year old twins refuse to go nappy less

  58. Reward charts and lots of praise

  59. Elzbieta Znyk says:

    wait till they are ready

  60. Helen Humphries says:

    Relaxed encouragement and lots of patience.

  61. emilia nastaly-howard says:

    Don’t rush it

  62. leonie owen says:

    dont try and rush it

  63. be patient

  64. Rebecca Howells says:

    Be patient with them and don’t get angry if there is an accident or two. (@PeanutHog)

  65. Clare S says:

    Wait till they tell you they are ready and give lots of praise

  66. It has already been said, but lots of praise and expect lots of accidents!

  67. claire little says:

    wait till they’re ready.

  68. Lyndsay Harris says:

    Be patient and make it fun

  69. angela edmonds says:

    Patience and plenty of s[are pants !!!

  70. Andrew Grange says:


  71. When their ready they will tell you, it’s always a good idea for them to see another of their age doing it.

  72. Susan B says:

    Allow your children to choose their potty and their new underwear and let them know it’s all ready whenever they are.

  73. victoria thurgood says:

    Don’t rush it

  74. Neha Parmar says:


  75. Diane Radford says:

    We just started, be I think be patient.

  76. jemma dwyer says:


  77. Have patience and don’t make a drama out of accidents!

  78. Hayley Todd says:

    The best advice I have been given for when it’s time to potty train my youngest is, if at all possible, leave it until the warmer months, so your little one has fewer clothes to remove and if accidents do happen, it can all be washed and dried much quicker! It’s also been recommended to me, to take a potty when we go out once we have started potty training, so my little one doesn’t get confused with routine changes.

    • Great tips! I also wait for the summer with my little ones. So much easier (and less stress when you’re on holidays – you tend to take everything with a pinch of salt, really!).

  79. karen Howden says:

    ignore the mistakes

  80. Joanne Fisher says:

    Don’t rush it

  81. Start when they are ready

  82. Lauren Chaplin says:

    Be Patient

  83. Joanne O'Neill says:

    Don’t stress yourself by wanting it done too quick. Wait until they are showing signs x

  84. Monika S says:

    Dont rush it and be prepared for lots of accidents

  85. sarah clegg says:

    dont rush it,its not a competition let them go at their own pace

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