When to start toilet training?
Spring is nearly upon us and I recommend the warmer months the most appropriate time. A time when little ones can be free of pants and nappies and trainer pants will dry quickly in the spring sun.
There are many stories and some amazing tactics out there in ‘Parenting Land’ regarding toilet training your little one. Do not despair, it can be done with ease and both you and your child can achieve this new milestone with confidence.
Focus on toilet training being a learning time, with the intention of reaching another milestone with excitement and ease. It’s a natural progression in your child’s development.
Make sure that when you start this new experience, you are in the right state of mind and have time to commit to this training, with enthusiasm and encouragement.
Most children before 18 months are not neurologically prepared, the nerve pathways have not sufficiently matured. Some children are showing signs of interest earlier.
Here are 20 tips to help you put your nappy days behind you.
- Keep it simple and as much fun as possible. It is not a race there may be a few stops and starts. Let them set their own pace.
- Timing is crucial. Are you and your child ready yet?
- Signs they are ready:
– Understand instructions
– Pull pants up and down
– Become interested in watching others go to the toilet
– Taking off their nappy when it is wet or soiled
– Telling you they are doing a poo or wee, or about to. Or hiding when they are doing or have done a poo.
- Toilet training takes patience, compassion and time. Both you and your child need to be relaxed and as positive as possible.
- Most children see toilet training as an interruption in their busy schedule, so you will need to keep this simple, and as much fun as possible. Humour can take you all a long way.
- Some children will catch on very quickly. For others it may take months to achieve consistent dry days, which are accident free.
- Punishment or shaming has no place in toilet training, or in any situation. If your child is uncooperative or messy, you can let them know you are not pleased with their behavior with constructive guidance of what you do expect.
- Be very specific about what your expectations are keeping your language very simple and short.
- Have the right equipment, a potty, training pants; step to reach the toilet and smaller toilet seat that securely fits your toilet. Be aware some children are fearful of falling in or being flushed away, so feeling secure is essential
- Set up an appropriate time to start. Introduce the potty or toilet, let them watch others, and discuss what is happening.
- Dress your child in clothes that are easy to take off and on. Take this opportunity to teach them about hygiene.
- Be consistent, with times that they will need to sit on the potty. A cooking timer is useful, to remember when it is time to go, especially in the first few days. Approximately every 20 minutes is good to start with. Offer plenty of water.
- Never, never force your child, if they are defiant, or become distressed, try again later. If your child is stressed they will clamp up and nothing will happen. There is no reason they cannot look at a book or hold a toy. Sometimes a little sit is needed before there is any action.
- Let nature take its course, and most importantly, give your child the praise they thrive on, remember how important the ‘silly’ dance is when there is something to celebrate. Focus on the positives, and do not make a fuss about the mistakes, they are opportunities to learn for you both.
- Reaching this new milestone can be an exciting liberating time for children and parents. In regards to all parenting it is important not to compare your child’s progress to others. We are all unique and have different rates of developing.
- For many children mastering pooing in the potty can take more practise than the wee. Wee happens more often and the physical sensation is easier for the child to predict. Also the time it takes to wee is much quicker than a sit for ‘number 2’s’ which counts for a lot in a busy child’s day.
- Any stress in a child’s life can interfere with their toileting. So if your child has regressed in their toilet training be mindful of changes in their lives. 80% of children experience regression in toilet training for various reasons, remember, baby steps
- If an adult shows disapproval or disgust when toileting mistakes happen this also causes stress and shame and undermines the child’s self esteem, interfering with their progress.
- Waiting for your child tell you they ‘have to go’ may not happen for some time. They do need reminding as they adjust to becoming conscious of their bodies signals and reacting in a timely manner during, especially when it interrupts their play.
- Many children will hide when they do a poo in their nappy or pants. It is frustrating; one way to deal with this is by keeping your response low key, being mindful of your tone of voice and body language. Put the poo into the toilet or potty and together give it a farewell flush it and talk about where it would be better to do it next time, and what that might feel like.
Bask in the delight your child will show when they successfully get the job done right. Rejoice when you hear them call out ‘I did it, I did it’.
Originally posted on our sister site www.babybargains.com.au