North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Health and Physical Development (HPD)

Subdomain: Self-Care

Goal: Children develop independence in caring for themselves and their environment.

Skill Progression: Toileting

You may choose a different domain, visit the page for this domain, or click on a skill below for more information.

List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

No observable skills

2-4 Months

No observable skills

4-6 Months

No observable skills

6-8 Months

No observable skills

8-10 Months

No observable skills

10-12 Months

No observable skills

12-15 Months

Uses facial expressions, squatting to indicate need to eliminate

Sits on toilet for one minute when placed and supervised (May like sitting on the potty chair fully clothed)

15-18 Months

Indicates wetness by actions

Indicates discomfort when soiled

Sits on the toilet for one minute alone

Visits the bathroom with adults and watches them

: Plays with toilet paper, flushing, and washing hands

18-21 Months

Indicates need for toilet with words or actions, but often too late

Sits on the toilet and occasionally urinates (Note: Average age elimiation muscles are mature is 18 months)

21-24 Months

Practices getting on and off the potty, pulling pants down and back up

May be bladder trained during the day if adults and children are both motivated

24-27 Months

Demonstrates a pattern of toileting needs (i.e. when and how often)

27-30 Months

Girls ask to urinate in the toilet

Girls wear training pants or underwear

30-33 Months

Boys and girls seat themselves on the toilet with steps and toilet seat

Boys urinate in the toilet when sitting down

Boys wear training pants or underwear

Boys and girls may tell before having BM

Girls stay BM free during the day

33-36 Months

Responds to routine bathroom times for bowel movements

Unsuccessful at wiping self

Boys stay BM free during the day

Boys tell before having to urinate

Girls enter bathroom and urinate and have BM independently (may need help with wiping)

36-42 Months

Boys enter bathroom and urinate and have BM independently

Boys urinate while standing up

42-48 Months

Dry at night

Manages toilet seat, toilet paper, and flushes

48-54 Months

May have occasional night bed-wetting

54-60 Months

Completely cares for self at toilet

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit