Positive Toileting

Little boy sitting on potty, wearing big glasses and holding newspaper

Toilet training is an experience that all families go through. Some families seem to have their children trained overnight. Others take longer. It can be a frustrating time between parent and child. So how can toilet training become a positive experience?

It is important to note the early signs of readiness to toilet train, often appearing when children are around 18-24 months of age. Little indicators to look for are: having a drier nappy for longer periods of time; showing interest in the toilet; indicating that they need to go to the toilet before or while doing it in nappy.

While training, it’s important to try and stay positive. Keep the process low key. Avoid pressure on the child to succeed and acknowledge your child’s success no matter how small.

There are several steps to toileting. This includes taking off clothes, putting them back on and hand washing. Talk your child through the process. Putting clothes back on can sometimes be a frustrating affair for children. Congratulate them on putting the clothes back on, no matter how back to front or inside out they have got it.

Try and familiarize yourself with your child’s bowl movements. This will help you predict when you might need to remind your child to go to the toilet. Get into a routine of going to the toilet every 2 hours to get into the swing of things.

Expect accidents and set backs. Rarely does anyone learn a new skill without any set backs. Give help in ways that empower children to use the toilet. Be sure to give just enough help for your child to succeed and encourage to persevere.

If your child is attending childcare, share information with your room Educators about your child’s toileting. How your child is progressing.  Brainstorm strategies i.e. reminding child to stand closer to the toilet or taking underwear off. Celebrate success and accidents together.

When adults have reasonable expectations and the child is ready, toileting can be a positive experience. Remember it’s not a matter of teaching, toileting is a process of supporting a child’s learning.