Independent toileting is an exciting milestone in your child’s life, and the key to successful toilet training is ‘readiness’. The two most important questions you need to ask yourself before embarking on this exciting journey are, “Is my child ready?” and most importantly, “Am I ready?”
‘I can do it’ becomes a regular saying – this shows that your toddler wants to become more independent
As with all transitions in life, the better pre-prepared you are, the more enjoyable the journey. So this means making sure you don’t start at times of high stress, and you’re fully armed with all the necessary resources: Pull-Ups, a Potty, books, a method and helpful hints.
In order for your child to succeed, they need to be physically, emotionally and mentally ready. There are a few things you can look out for to help determine whether or not your child is ready. If your child is showing many of these signs, and you are feeling fully prepared, then it’s probably time to start thinking about toilet training.
There is no magic age at which to toilet train your child. Every child is unique. The majority of children are ready sometime between 18 months and 3 years, although most do not master readiness skills until after their second birthday.
There are a number of stages that your child will go through while developing bladder and bowel control. If many of the Signs of Readiness listed below are clearly present, it’s probably time to start thinking about toilet training. Remember, if your first attempts are met with little success, or if your child starts out fine but then regresses, don’t worry. Just stop and start again later when your child appears more ready or interested in starting. Timing is very important when it comes to toilet training. Consider delaying toilet training if your child is sick or if there are big changes in your little ones life, like moving house, starting childcare or if a new baby is on the way.
Signs of Readiness
If your toddler shows at least two or three of the physical, emotional and mental signs listed below, it’s probably time to start thinking about toilet training. Remember the more ready, you and your child are, the more smoothly the training process will go!
Physical signs of readiness
• Your child has regular, formed poos and their bowel movements are reasonably predictable
• Your toddler is developed physically so they can move around independently and can get themselves to the toilet
• Your child has the dexterity to pull their pants up and down with minimum assistance
• You may notice that the nappy is dry for longer periods up to 2-3 hours. This shows that the bladder capacity and control are improving
• Your toddler can recognise the feeling that they need to go to the toilet or can control the urge to go – young children will often go off to a secret corner to poo
Mental signs of readiness
• Your child knows what wee and poo are and may talk about them when you’re changing his or her nappy
• Your child understands the meaning of ‘wet’and ‘dry’
• Your child can predict and communicate when he or she needs ‘to go’
• Your toddler understands what you are saying and can follow simple instructions, like ‘Go and get your teddy’
• Your child may become uncomfortable and complain if their nappy is dirty or remove their nappy following a wee
Social and emotional signs of readiness
• ‘I can do it’ becomes a regular saying – this shows that your toddler wants to become more independent
• Your toddler begins to imitate your behaviour or the behaviour of others
• Your child demonstrates independence – often by saying ‘no’ to requests
• Your toddler shows a desire to please you and other adults – and responds well to praise
• Your child asks to wear training pants or underpants
Toilet training can be a daunting process but preparation is key when it comes to toilet training ease and success. Get organised by visiting www.pull-ups.com.au to request a free of HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® Training Pants or get a copy of the HUGGIES® Pull-Ups® Toilet Training Guide.
Remember. No matter how ready your child is, successful toilet training also depends on your own level of readiness. Being prepared as a parent means:
- Avoid starting at times of high stress – toilet training requires lots of patience and a positive frame of mind
- Purchasing the right equipment. Potty or toilet seat? Underpants or Pull-Ups?
- Having a plan. What toilet training method will you use? Be flexible however as what works for one child may not work for the next.
- Planning for changes in routine. How will you manage when your out and about or when your child is in childcare?
- Having realistic expectations, putting too much pressure on yourself and your child will only end in disaster.
- Don’t forget that all-important support network. When things go wrong you need to have someone to sit down with and have a laugh!
This article provided by Dr Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett, Early Childhood Education & Child Development Expert.
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