Toilet training boys and girls can be tough, if your toddler seems to be a late starter when it comes to potty training, you may be reassured to know that the age a child is potty trained is not linked to intellect. Nor does it correlate with other stages of development. For example if a child was an early talker, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll be potty trained earlier. Also bear in mind that girls are often ready for the potty sooner than boys. If other children seem to be out of nappies but your child isn't yet, don't worry and don't feel pressured into starting too soon - 15 per cent of children are not potty trained at three and four per cent are still not trained at the age of four.


Make sure everyone involved in your child's care uses the same consistent approach to potty training. A good first step is to buy a potty; put it in the bathroom or somewhere easily accessible and tell your child what it is for. Suggest your child sits on it to see what it's like. Be prepared to demonstrate this yourself! Then make sitting on the potty a part of your child's daily routine, perhaps when dressing in the morning and before the evening bath. Don't expect your child to sit there for long; at first your child may only stay there for a very short time - you are simply getting your child used to the potty.


Start encouraging your child to let you know when they are passing urine or having a bowel motion - and give lots of praise when your child tells you what they are doing.  Awareness that a wee or poo has happened is important, and comes before awareness of the need to go.  You may choose to potty train in the summer when your child can run around without nappies.  If your child has a regular time for opening their bowels; perhaps after breakfast, try to ‘catch it' by sitting your child on the potty at that time. If and when you do ‘catch' something show your pleasure and approval. Let your child know what you want, but above all be consistent, be positive and provide lots of praise and make you child feel clever and special.