When is my child ready for toilet training? When is my child ready for toilet training

When is my child ready for toilet training?

Helping a child learn to use a toilet is a big and very exciting step for children and parents, guardians or educators. The most important thing to consider is readiness. Children need to be both physically and psychologically ready before starting the toilet training process.

DID YOU KNOW: First-born children often take longer to toilet train that their younger siblings. Girls are often quicker than boys.

A child may show the sign of readiness for toilet training from 2 years of age and onwards. Some children may develop the physical and cognitive skills as early as 18 months while others may not be ready until they are 3 or 4 years old. Some signs which show that the child may be ready for toilet training can be, when the child is:

  • Able to walk and can sit for short period of time
  • Able to follow simple instructions like “Give the bottle to your brother”
  • Has well-formed bowel movements at regular times, every day
  • Remains dry for about two hours at a time
  • Begins to dislike wearing nappies, trying to pull it off when it is wet or soiled
  • Can pull his pants up and down
  • Is becoming interested in watching others go to toilet
  • Tells using words or gestures when he/ she has done wee or poo.

What to use

If the child is showing signs of readiness, the next step is to decide whether to use a potty or the toilet. If you are thinking of using the toilet, ensure the toilet is accessible to the child. You may need a step or child sized insert for the toilet seat. The advantage of using potty is that it is mobile, easily accessible to children and less scary.

Best time to start

Summertime is the best time to start toilet training as the weather is warm and children can move around in underpants and can realise more quickly when they have accident.

DID YOU KNOW: Once toilet training starts, it can take weeks to months for most children to achieve dryness.

What to do

Toilet training might go better if child has a regular daily routine.

  • Start by switching nappies with training pants or underpants
  • Dress the child in clothes that are easy to take off and pull on.
  • Next step can be to sit the child on the potty/ toilet if you know child’s poo routine. If you know you child poos after midday meal, you can put the child on potty/ toilet 30 minutes after eating.
  • Look out for uneasy moves/ gestures such as being quiet, sitting at one place and remind the child to use the toilet or take the child to the toilet.
  • If the child has been successful celebrate the accomplishment.
  • If the child has accident, do not comment of fuss about it, just clean it up. If you will stay positive and calm the child will be more likely to settle into things.
  • If your child does not do a wee or poo after 3-5 minutes of sitting on the potty, then take them off. Do not make the child sit on the toilet too long because this may feel like punishment.
  • Praise the child for trying. You could say, “Well done for sitting on the toilet.”
  • Dress the child in clothes that are easy to take off and pull on.
  • Teach the child how to wash hands after using the toilet. This can be a fun activity that child enjoys as part of the routine.

Try to stay calm if your toilet training seems to take longer than you expect. Stay positive about your child’s achievements, because she/he will get there eventually. Too much tension or stress can lead to negative feelings and might result in your child avoiding going to the toilet.

DID YOU KNOW: It’s common for children to have accidental soiling even up to two years after toilet training.