9 countries that potty train their kids differently [Photo Gallery]

No single toilet-training method will guarantee you sweet success, but you’ll have many ways to get there!

Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more
Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more
03 Oct 2017

Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more

In Singapore, potty training is a pretty routine affair. Shortly after junior’s second birthday, parents rush out to buy colourful underpants and/or cute potties in the hope of enticing their tot to take the throne.


They gather tips from well-meaning grandparents, friends and parenting books to ensure that their child has a positive potty-training experience. A few accidents here and there and before you know it, your tyke and you are well on your way to a diaper-free existence!


Sounds pretty straight forward enough, but have you ever wondered if parents in other countries tackle toilet training the way you do? Scroll through our photo gallery as we take you on a trip around the world for the most interesting ― and some shocking ― potty training experiences!


Main photo: iStock

#1 Vietnam
#1 Vietnam
03 Oct 2017

#1 Vietnam

Vietnamese parents are known to potty train their peewees by the time they turn 9 months old. They achieve this through a method known as elimination communication. Once baby is strong enough to hold her head up ― ideally from 4 month onwards ― adults will remove bubba’s diaper, hold her over the toilet bowl or the bathroom floor and use a “swoosh”, “shhhh” or whistling sound to create an urge to urinate. Do it often enough and the baby will view it as a signal that it’s time to go. Alternatively, they might just turn on running water as they believe it has the same effect as well. (Photo: iStock) 

#2 China
#2 China
03 Oct 2017

#2 China

While the Chinese also use a similar “hissing” sound to encourage babies to pee, these folks go one step further by dressing their tykes in pants with open seams in the back. This makes it easier for junior to squat and go when it suits him, wherever he is. By the way, it’s not unusual for little ones to relieve themselves anywhere in China ― including along the sidewalk or even on public transportation. Families that can’t afford to buy disposable diapers also tend to put their peewees in clothes or blankets. Many consider this a push factor for tykes to complete their toilet training faster as they feel uncomfortable staying in soiled clothes for too long. (Photo: http://arielleinchina.blogspot.sg) 

#3 Africa
#3 Africa
03 Oct 2017

#3 Africa

As African mums wear their babies on their backs all day, they are very in tune with their child’s every cue. The minute junior show subtle signs of being ready to wee or poo, African mums immediately whisk them out of their carriers and hold them over the toilet or anywhere appropriate. Since they start them young, it’s common for most kids to be potty trained by the age of 2. In rural countries such as Namibia, where there are no toilets for miles, mums will wipe bubba’s bottom on her leg after he’s done his business. Later, she will clean her leg with corn husks. (Photo: iStock)

#4 The Arctic
#4 The Arctic
03 Oct 2017

#4 The Arctic

Inuits who live in freezing cold artic areas, such as Greenland and Alaska, carry their babies in a special carrier called an Amauti. This carrier is attached to the mum’s or dad’s parka and has a baby pouch just below the hood, which is roomy enough for junior to rest comfortably. When they are outdoors, Inuits use the “point and shoot” method to potty train their babies ― taking junior out of the carrier and instructing him to go wherever they are. Waste matter is buried easily in the snow. On longer walks, a piece of rabbit skin is slipped into the Amauti, so that training tots can go while still strapped in the jacket. In addition to this, junior is also encouraged to use the toilet every chance he gets when indoors, specifically once they wake up, before they go to bed and before and after every meal. (Photo: iStock)

#5 United States of America
#5 United States of America
03 Oct 2017

#5 United States of America

Potty training is a more child-led affair in America, with parents turning to paediatricians and parenting experts for advice before embarking on the journey. They are told to watch for signs that junior is ready to go on the throne, read books about the potty, use training seats and give lots of positive feedback. This means children are potty-trained at a much older age, usually between 2 and 4 years old, which many parents agree is the ideal time as junior is more emotionally ready for it. (Photo: iStock)

#6 Russia
#6 Russia
03 Oct 2017

#6 Russia

The Russian’s idea of early potty training is to start at around 6 or 8 months and hold babies over the toilet or put them on the potty every 20 to 30 minutes. This is also done religiously after every meal. Parents are big on positive reinforcement in this part of the world, so if the tyke does successful wee or poo, they enjoy hugs, kisses and lots of applause. (Photo: BabyCouture)

#7 Scandinavia
#7 Scandinavia
03 Oct 2017

#7 Scandinavia

Scandinavian kids typically start potty-training by the time they turn 1, which is also the age they start kindergarten. They are encouraged to go to the toilet in groups, so that they can imitate what they see their peers doing. If there are older kids in the group, which there often are, they will act as mentors and role models to the younger ones who are still learning the ropes. (Photo: Daily Mail)

#8 Germany
#8 Germany
03 Oct 2017

#8 Germany

In Germany, potties are introduced at between 16 months and 2 years old, but there’s zero pressure and kids are encouraged to go in their own time. German parents are big believers of letting their children run free without a diaper, so they will feel it when they soil themselves and are better able to read their bodies’ cues. Potty training is often timed with the season, ideally summer or spring, so that it’s warm enough for junior to bare their bum while they run around. (Photo: iStock)

#9 United Kingdom
#9 United Kingdom
03 Oct 2017

#9 United Kingdom

Just like their American counterparts, the English have also adopted a more child-centric parenting technique, preferring to start toilet training later as they take their child’s readiness into consideration. This seems to have created a divide between grandparents and younger parents as the former are eager to potty train the little ones earlier, just like they did their own kids. However, potty training can also be a competition between some modern parents who have used British parenting guru Gina Ford’s popular Potty Training In One Week method to accomplish the task just for bragging rights. (Photo: iStock)

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