Summer is here. You know what that means? It’s the perfect time to think about toilet training your child.
It can be a daunting idea for parents. Especially if you’re not quite sure if your child is ready. The idea of the mess. Of potentially cutting down on social outings until your child has the toilet down pat. It can be a lot to think about. So, it’s important to remember that toileting is a crucial developmental and self-care skill.
Generally if you give it a try and the success rate is dismal, it’s a good idea to leave it and try again in a month or so. Most children will realistically be ready for toilet training at some time between 18 months – 3 years.
Signs your child is ready…
- Pulling at their nappy and clothing
- They’re interested in watching you or other family members go to the bathroom
- They have a dry nappy for two hours or more
- They go to a different room or a private place when they need to do a poo
- Telling you that they need a ‘wee’ or ‘poo’
Tips for taking the plunge…
- Make sure your child knows the words: poo, wee, toilet, potty or any other words you may use
- Familiarise your child with the toilet, underwear, washing their hands. Let them sit on the toilet, try to pull their own clothes up and down…
- Take your child on an outing and let them choose their very own underwear so they are excited to wear them and keep them dry
- Let them role play by getting teddy or a favourite toy to also use the toilet or potty
- Read toilet related books so they understand the process, or have a special toilet song that’s only for when they are going to the bathroom (the Wiggles just released ‘The Toilet Song’ this year!)
When you start…
- Make sure you have no plans to leave the house for 3 or 4 days
- Go cold turkey with the pull ups or nappies except for nap time
- Make sure you’re excited and praise your child when they make it to the toilet for a wee or poo
- Try to stay calm if there is an accident e.g. try not to shout out no! As much of a reflex as it may be.
And that’s it! It can take time and every child is different so be prepared and be patient. Good luck!