Beginning toilet training is an exciting time for parents, but it can be difficult to know where to start. If you think it’s time to begin toilet training your child, there are a few things you should make sure of first.
- Is your child aware when they need to go to the toilet and do they have the appropriate words to associate the actions to for example pee pee/ poop?
- Do you have the equipment ready? A step for if they are going to be using the toilet or a potty if they aren’t.
- Are there any big changes coming up? Things like going on vacation, moving house, a new baby coming into the family, can all affect children in different ways. It is a good idea to plan ahead or after any big changes, when family life is as predictable as possible and the child is relaxed in their everyday routine.
When you are ready, make sure to remind your child about going to the toilet every hour or two and continue to have conversations about the toilet/ potty. Some children have a regular body clock and it is a good idea to try taking your child to the toilet around the same time as they would usually have a wet or soiled nappy.
Lots of praise and positive attention for even trying and sitting on the toilet is important so the child knows they are doing a good job. You can say praises like “Well done for sitting on the toilet!”.
Once you start, toilet training can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. The most important thing here is not to push your child and let them go at their own pace. If your child isn’t cooperating, is uninterested or is upset with the toilet training, it is usually best to stop and wait until the child is interested and wants to try again.
Toilet training can be a great time to bond with your child and it is important to make it a stress-free time for the child as well as for yourself. If the process is not going as fast as you would have liked, it’s ok. Just remember, good things take time.