Information & Tips for Babies and Parents

Toilet Training

Putting Into Practice
Steps to Towards Diaper Independence

STEP1 Let him get used to the toilet

First, your child needs to understand that the toilet is a place for the elimination of body waste. Try to estimate the time he will pee and put him on the toilet seat, or hold him there while whistling to encourage him to pee. A good time to do this is when you find his diaper still dry after he wakes up in the morning or after an afternoon nap. As he would have accumulated quite a lot of pee by then, chances are high that he will pee at that point in time.

Even if there is no pee, don't be disappointed! You don't have to keep trying until it happens, either. Taking him to the toilet about 3 times a day should be sufficient.

STEP2 Invite him to use the toilet

Once your child is able to pee when he is brought to the toilet, focus on his "urge" to pee or poo. When you catch him fidgeting or touching his pants during playtime, ask if he would like to "pee pee" or "poo poo" and suggest a visit to the toilet. This will help him to clearly understand the urge to eliminate body waste.

It's important to suggest the toilet visit at the right time, such as when you think your child may have the need. Inviting him when he has no need at all will only result in failure. Nothing will happen! The other point to note is that even if you don't make it to the toilet in time, do not scold or express your disappointment with your child!

STEP3 Get him to tell you

During this training period, he'll be able to tell you before he actually pees or poos. Even if he is not able to speak yet, he may run to his mum or dad and indicate that he wants to remove his diaper. He may even take your hand and pull you towards the toilet. Once that happens, your child is just one step away from diaper independence! When he is able to inform you in advance, remember to praise him!

There's no need to go without diapers immediately, even when he is able to tell you in advance on many occasions. It could result in frustration during the times when he fails to tell you.


Toilet training can sometimes be like an ongoing struggle where you take one step forward and two steps back. Even when it seems like all is going well, don't think of immediately getting your child off diapers. Always let your child's pace dictate the progress of the training!
When he does not seem to be making progress or seems to be regressing, it's all right to temporarily suspend the training and wait for a more opportune time to restart it. In many cases, that would be the ideal course of action.

How do I know if I should suspend the training?

  • If he doesn't fidget or touch his diaper after peeing in it.
  • If he displays strong dislike when you suggest going to the toilet.
  • If he is averse to even diaper changing.

Vetted by:
Maternity & Gynaecological Clinic
820 Thomson Road, Mount Alvernia Medical Centre, Block A #B1-01, Singapore 574623

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