Most children become toilet trained between the ages of two and four years. This milestone is attained even later in children who have impaired brain function.

Bowel control is usually attained before bladder control.

Fifteen percent of normal children are not potty trained at age three years and four percent of normal children at age four years.

Between ten and fifteen percent of children are still wetting the bed at age five years.

Bedwetting is commoner in boys.



Toilet training is more likely to be successful if the child is allowed to set the pace.

Bladder capacity increases significantly between the ages of two and three years

Toilet training is not linked to other stages of development e.g. a child who starts speaking early is not any more likely to be toilet trained early.

Toilet training is easier when your child is able to understand a simple request.

Toilet training is also easier when your child is fairly well coordinated and able to, for example, pull his brief or her panty down.



Record the times of day your baby opens his bowels over a period of about one week. Many babies open their bowels just after a meal, and so it would be useful placing him/her on the potty at this time. The training program is based on a system of rewards (praise, statements of love, hugs, kisses) when a stool is deposited in the correct place. Rewards should not be given if the child does not perform.



Place baby on the potty and stay and play with her and tell her that you love her when she uses the potty. Take her off the potty after about ten minutes. Gradually increase the time that is spent on the potty. If she opens her bowels while sitting on the potty, reward her with plenty praise and love. Do not scold or punish if she messes herself up at other times.



This can begin after bowel training has been achieved. Take your child to the potty or toilet every two or three hours and encourage him to pass urine. Turning on a tap may help in inducing him to urinate. If he passes urine in the correct place, reward him with praise, love and hugs. Reward him in the same way if he asks to use the toilet.



Be patient

Reward toilet use with praise and hugs

Do not shout at or physically punish your child if he or she has wet or soiled the diaper or training pants.

Verbal or physical abuse will only lead to poor self esteem and delays in the attainment of control



Limit fluids before bedtime

At bedtime, get the child to empty his bladder, wait for a minute and then get him to do this again (double voiding)

Get the last adult that retires to wake the child and make him empty his bladder again or try using a loud alarm clock to wake the child to use the toilet later in the night

Get the child to delay passing urine during the day

Enlist the child’s help in washing the bed sheets when they get wet

Be sensitive to your child’s feelings

Do not punish for wet beds

Give rewards for dry beds (praise, hugs, stickers, stars)

If the problem persists after trying all these measures, consult your doctor