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Tips for toilet training

Toilet training children can be difficult for everyone. Here are some tips to help you and your child get the hang of it.


Encourage your child to try and go to the toilet 20 to 30 minutes after every meal, and before they go to bed.


Make sure their feet firmly supported, with their knees lightly above their hips, and their back straight, leaning slightly forward. You can use a small stool or box for them to put their feet on.


Help you child relax by giving them 5 to 10 minutes to do something fun and distract them. Let them read, colour in, play a game, or listen to some music.

Tummy massage

To help ease their discomfort, you can give their tummy a little massage. Do clockwise circles on their lower tummy, or do 6 strokes up on their right, 6 strokes across their belly button and 6 strokes down on their left. This will help move things along. You can also try doing this with a soft foam ball.


Help them make a fist or place a soft foam ball onto their left groin. Encourage them to rock themselves forwards and backwards 6 times.

Pushing and blowing

Pushing and blowing can help with getting their tummy muscles to move. Try making them laugh or cough, or let them blow bubbles, balloons, pretend to blow out candles or play a toy harmonica.


Give them lots of praise for doing the “exercises” regardless of whether or not they have managed to do a poo. It often takes lots of practice but it will be worth it.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: CON6

Resource Type: Article

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