It's natural that your toddler wants to grow up and be more independent. Here, early childhood education and child development expert Dr Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett outlines the key skills with toilet training pants.
Introduce the concept of toilet training slowly. Take your toddler shopping and get them to help pick out toilet training pants and a new potty or toilet seat. Let your child feel the texture of the pants. Explain to your child how they are more like real underwear and easier to pull on and off. Let your child practice pulling them up and down by themselves. This will give your child a sense of independence.
It’s natural that your toddler wants to grow up and leave nappies behind. HUGGIES Pull-Ups® Training Pants help you to take advantage of this natural desire and make the training process a little more relaxed for both of you. The early days of toilet training tend to be characterised by more misses than hits so Pull-Ups are great for keeping that washing basket under control!
Learning the key skills with HUGGIES Pull-Ups® Training Pants:
1) Understanding the feeling of wet from dry
This is an early sign and a very good indicator that your child is getting ready for toilet training. This is the stage when your toddler becomes aware of having a wet or dirty nappy or clothing. It’s also the time when your child starts to take an interest in the toilet.
Young children learn through association. Help your toddler to make the link between feeling wet and doing a wee.
Pull-Ups® Toilet Training Pants are designed with the ‘Feel Wet to Learn’ learning liner, which holds wetness against the skin momentarily, before it is drawn away. Unlike nappies or nappy-pants, Pull-Ups® Training Pants allow your child to feel the sensation of wetness, so your child will start to learn the difference between wet from dry, which ultimately helps them learn to stay dry on their own.
2) I can say when I want to "do a wee” and I when I want to “do a poo”
If your toddler says ‘I’m going to wee’ or ‘I’m going to do a poo’, praise your child for having the feeling and connecting the idea to the toilet or potty. Be natural, and don’t overdo it. Don’t forget, when your child first starts out, the warning comes only seconds before the actual event! But, don’t worry, this will improve, and you’ll soon be making it to the potty or toilet in time. Little accidents are learning opportunities for next time.
Sometimes young children need help identifying cues. You can help your toddler by watching out for behavioural cues like grimaces or poses (like shifting weight from foot to foot) that indicate they are about to wee or have a bowel movement. Help your child identify those early warning signs, by talking about how their tummy feels just before they need to do a wee or poo.
3) I can go to the toilet myself … with a little help from someone.
Notice when your child usually does a poo. Try to time toilet visits for these occasions. Be nearby to lend a hand while your child pulls off their Pull-Ups® Toilet Training Pants and sits on the toilet or potty. The first time the poo or wee goes in the toilet it will almost certainly be an accident! Let your child know how pleased you are that they understand that wee and poo belong in the toilet. You wont always make it to the toilet on time, when this happens it is important to still get your child to sit on the potty, just to reinforce the connection.
Patience is the key! At first your toddler may be prepared to only sit on the toilet or potty for a minute or two, and will be disappointed if nothing happens straight away. At first you may want to timetable your visits so that your child sits on the toilet or potty after each meal or snack. Explain that sometimes you have to wait a little while for the wee to come. You can encourage your child to sit for longer periods by making the time more enjoyable, by singing songs or reading a story.
For a toddler, putting on pants is quite an accomplishment. Like any skill, it takes time and practice, with some children needing assistance long after they have achieved daytime continence. Manual dexterity is what’s required, and ‘up’ is easier than ‘down’ for your little learner. You can assist them by helping them pull their pants up and down together, try to resist the temptation to do it for them, remembering that young children learn best through support, modeling and repetition. Be patient and consistent.
Most importantly, let your child set the pace. If they resist, don’t force things. Say, “Okay. We’ve got plenty of time to learn.” Stay positive and continue to provide lots of praise and encouragement. Remember toilet training does not happen over night with some children taking up to 6 months. The more ready your child is when you begin the process the quicker it will be.
4) I can pull my Pull-Ups up and down myself
This may require a lot of practice and bit of help. Remember, the time between when your toddler feels the urge to go and when they actually wee, is not very long. Many accidents occur because children are just not able to pull their pants down in time. Reassure your child that this is perfectly fine and with a little bit of practice they will become experts! Choose clothing that is easy to pull up or down. Practice at regular times, when they get up in the morning, before and after naps, and before going to bed at night. It could take a couple of weeks before they can do it themselves, but they’ll be so proud once they can!
Pull-Ups® Toilet Training Pants pull on and off like real underwear. Thanks to the soft stretchy sides, your child simply pulls them up to put them on and pulls them down to use the potty or toilet.
This article provided by Dr Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett, Early Childhood Education & Child Development Expert.
Toilet Training Skills with Huggies Pull-Ups
Knowing the key skills that your child will need to successfully toilet train is vital for a smooth transition from nappies to underwear. Find out what skills your toddler will learn during toilet training.