Children become toilet trained when they are ready and only when they are ready. Even when their little friends are all using the toilet; they may just not be ready yet. Most toilet training problems are caused by unrealistic expectations and incorrect advice. Do not start too early, as this will lead to unnecessary problems. Don’t hurry, don’t fight and have patience.
Is my toddler emotional ready for toilet training/ potty training?
- Introduce the potty when your toddler shows and interest in the bathroom e.g. when they ask how the toilet flushes or having to wash their hands.
- Make sure your toddler is comfortable on the potty or toilet seat before you start training them a few weeks before hand e.g. by sitting on the potty or toilet before bath time. Reading books is also a good way to start.
- Be positive and patient, there will be accidents. Praise and rewards can help your toddler feel more comfortable learning their new skill.
- Be consistent.
- Make sure everyone in your toddler’s life, e.g. grandparents, day-care, and nanny are all aware of the new potty/toilet training skills.
- Make a decision early about the products you will use to be successful e.g. potty or toilet, pants or pull-ups. Stickers, charts, small gifts.
- If you are using a potty leave it in one place, do not move it around. Toddlers like privacy just like adults.
Has my toddler got the words to say they need to use the potty or toilet? Do they understand the different between wet and dirty?
Are they staying dry for about 2.5 hours in their nappies? If so, celebrate with stickers, homemade charts or inexpensive toy. Lots of clapping hands telling your toddler how good they are. Go over the top with praise.
During the first year and a half there is no proper bowel or bladder control. Eighteen months is the earliest age to consider toilet training. Two years plus is probably more realistic time to start. Most parents start their toddler on the potty however, over the years I have met a number of independent toddlers, who wish to use the toilet like grown-ups.