We are very regularly contacted by parents who are getting ready to begin toilet training or may have started but are experiencing some issues. Recently, we dedicated one of our newsletters (which you can sign up to here) to toilet training and we got a great response so though it would be a good idea to dedicate a blog post to the topic.
It seems obvious, but the first step in toilet training is finding out if both you and your child are really ready to begin toileting. Toilet training will only be a success if your child is showing readiness signs and is feeling relaxed. Being able to go to the toilet independently is the long term goal, unfortunately it is not always as straightforward as it seems, there will be hiccups and different challenges along the way, however your child will get there! Trust the process and most importantly be consistent and patient.
We are all aware of the importance of toilet training: it increases independence, quality of life and well- being of the child, personal hygiene and many more. We are going to go through readiness signs to look out for, some different tips before starting and things to be aware of once you begin.
When should we start? What readiness signs should we look out for?
- Does your child show discomfort when their pull up is wet or soiled?
- Will they sit on the toilet without getting distressed for 2-3 minutes?
- Can they pull pull up and down their pull up?
- Can they hold their wees for at least 20-25 minutes? Do they shows an interest in a potty or toilet?
- Can they communicate their basic needs and follow simple directions?
These are some of the readiness signs, it is not necessary that your child does every single of the above. The most important of these signs is sitting on the toilet and holding for a period of time.
Tips before starting
- Look at the times your child is most likely to use the toilet. Record this for a few days as this will give you an idea of their toileting schedule. We will use this information in deciding how often to have trips to the toilet initially.
- Ensure your child is comfortable in the bathroom and will happily sit on the toilet for 2-3 minutes.
- Have all clothing and anything you will need prepared including toilet seats, steps, etc.
- Have visuals prepared if you are planning to use this for toilet training. Such visuals may include the toilet, different steps of the toilet routine (if this is something your child responds well to).
Once you begin
- Using your child’s toileting schedule, decide on how often you are going to bring them to the toilet. Use this as a starting interval and will increase with your child’s success.
- Be patient – don’t expect instant results
- Ensure your child has a healthy diet with plenty of fibre
- As with recording frequency of and times of voids and bowel movements before starting, continue to do so once you begin so you can see if they are having success and accidents are decreasing as time goes on.
- Everyone that is involved with the child should be part of the process – parents, grandparents, and school. Also, the same language and routine should be used across all environments so as not to confuse your child.
- Have a preferred item to deliver along with lots of praise for successful voids in the toilet.
- Don’t overreact when accidents occur, they are part of the process!
This is designed to take you through the preparation and planning stage of toilet training. These are general tips and toilet training is different for every child. If you would like any help or would like help developing a plan specific for your child, you can contact us on 0852737466