Nappy Changing and Potty Training

Safeguarding and Welfare Requirement: Safety and Suitability of Premises, Environment and Equipment.

Providers must ensure there are suitable hygienic changing facilities for changing children who are in nappies.


Policy statement


No child will be excluded from participating in our setting who may, for any reason, not yet be toilet trained and who may still be wearing nappies or equivalent.  We work with parents towards toilet training, unless there are medical or other developmental reasons why this may not be appropriate at the time. We provide nappy changing facilities and exercise good hygiene practices in order to accommodate children who are not yet toilet trained. We see toilet training as a self-care skill that children have the opportunity to learn with the full support and non-judgemental concern of adults.


A member of staff has attended potty and toilet training run by the charity ERIC and we have lots of advice and tips to try and support parents/carers and children when looking at toilet training or if difficulties arise



  • Children will be checked by their keyperson periodically throughout each session. If their usual keyperson isn’t present the practitioner assuming keyperson responsibilities will do the checks.  Soiled or wet nappies will be changed and this will be recorded on a daily sheet in the bathroom area and if parent requested on the tapestry care diary.
  • Changing areas are clean and safe areas to lay children.  A changing mat is used (unless the child is in pull ups and/or prefers to stand), and the mat is cleaned before and after each use.  Disposable gloves are used and aprons if soiled nappy. If it comes to the attention of any key person that a child requires changing at a time between checks, the child will be changed by that person and this will also be recorded.
  • Nappies and pull-ups, gloves and wipes are double-bagged, labelled and given to appropriate parent/carer for disposal when the child is collected.
  • All staff members are familiar with the hygiene procedures and carry these out when changing nappies. 
  • All staff members are gentle when changing; they avoid pulling faces and making negative comments about ‘nappy contents’.  Staff members are familiar with specific cleansing procedures relating to boys and girls.
  • All staff members have ‘duty of care’ towards children’s intimate personal needs.  If children are left in wet or soiled nappies/pull ups in the setting this may constitute neglect and will be a disciplinary matter.  The responsibility of the care routines lies with the child’s designated key person.
  • Children are encouraged to take an interest in the toilet/potty, they may just want to sit on it and talk to a friend who is also using the toilet/potty.


To support children’s health, wellbeing and development by promoting effective potty training at an appropriate time, in partnership with parents/carers.


Objectives for potty/toilet training:

·Child’s individual needs are identified and met.

·Family’s cultural preferences are considered.

·Potty training is a positive experience; family and child feel supported throughout.

·All families are provided with information and signposts to sources of further information about bladder and bowel health and potty training such as ERIC website–’sHelpline(0845 370 8008).

·Communication between the setting and family is promoted before, during and after potty training.





  • Potty training can be a very daunting process for families. Ladybirds staff will support families if needed by discussing expectations of potty training, and providing information such as ERIC’s Guide to Potty Training.
  • We are committed to working in partnership with parents to support this important stage of development, and will advise and support a consistent approach between the setting and home.
  • Families will be supported to decide the best time to potty train their child. Provider will explain why it is helpful for the same approach to be taken at home and in the early years setting, including using the same words for wee/poo/potty/toilet etc.


Assessment of Readiness:

  • The first stage of potty training is to recognise when the child is ready.
  • It is essential that the child is:
  • Pooing at least one soft poo a day
  • Staying dry for at least an hour and a half between wees


Other signs to look out for are:

  • Showing interest in the toilet
  • They can follow simple instructions
  • Able to sit themselves on the potty and get up again
  • Starting to show signs of awareness of when they have done a wee or a poo
  • Showing awareness that other family members and peers don’t wear nappies, and that they use the toilet
  • Children with additional needs may not show reliable signs of awareness. Potty training should not be delayed; it is much harder to achieve when the child is older. Readiness can be assessed by monitoring the child’s wees and poos.



  • Ladybirds Staff will ensure that the following recommendations are supported:
  •  Suitable facility is offered –either a range of pottys, or toilet with suitable foot support and toilet seat insert. In the early stages children cannot differentiate between the need for a wee and the need for a poo. If they wee standing up they may hold onto the poo and can easily become constipated with them stood up if they prefer this to laying down on the changing mat.
  • We also change children’s nappies
  • The correct mechanism of weeing is triggered by relaxation –it is much easier to relax when seated.
  • They may empty their bladder better sitting down.
  • It is more hygienic as they are less likely to wee on the floor/over the toilet seat.
  • Children have access to water throughout the day and are offered milk during snack and lunch times. Children are encouraged to have plenty to drink and taught the importance of drinking plenty of water.
  • Ladybirds staff will discuss clothing with family; family will ensure that the child is dressed in clothes that are easy to pull up and down, and will supply several spare pants, trousers, socks etc.
  • Ladybirds staff will work with family to ensure a consistent transition from nappies to pants in one step to avoid confusing the child with a mixture of nappies/pull-ups/pants.
  • Ladybirds staff will maintain calm, supportive approach at all times; children should not be rushed or forced to use the potty against their will. ‘Accidents’ are to be expected –children learn to recognise the sensation of needing a wee/poo by wetting/soiling.
  • All Ladybirds staff and family to ensure child is regularly encouraged and praised. N.B. aim to recognise achievable goals such as sitting on the potty when asked to do so. Keeping pants dry maybe an unachievable goal initially.



  • Ladybirds staff will ensure all staff are aware of each child’s current stage of potty training to confirm consistent approach.
  • Ladybirds staff will ensure a record is kept of successful potty/toilet visits as well as wetting/soiling incidents in order to monitor child’s progress. Either via tapestry care diary or a log kept in the bathroom
  • Regular updates to be shared with parents with the expectation that they will share information about progress at home. Potty training is a joint effort!

Trouble shooting: Ladybirds staff are here to support parents/carers with any difficulties and will be able to sign post you useful websites and can offer some support themselves.


We have Gill McCarthy on site who has been trained by ERIC to help support successful toilet training


Document ID-



Policy adopted at meeting –


7th May 2021

Reviewed by : Ladybirds Directors


Zoe Marler-Hausen

Diana Buckell


Date reviewed

July 2021











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