Toilet training is a significant milestone in a child’s development. It signifies independence and growth, but it can be a challenging and stressful process for both parents and children. In this article, we will provide tips on when and how to toilet train children to make the process smoother and more comfortable.
When to start toilet training?
There is no set age for toilet training, as every child is different. However, most children are ready for toilet training between the ages of 18 and 24 months. Some children may show signs of readiness earlier, while others may take longer. It is essential to pay attention to your child’s developmental stage and personality to determine the right time for toilet training.
Signs of readiness for toilet training:
- Your child can stay dry for longer periods of time.
- Your child shows an interest in the bathroom and what happens there.
- Your child can follow simple instructions.
- Your child can communicate when they need to go to the bathroom.
- Your child dislikes wearing a wet or dirty diaper.
If your child displays these signs, they may be ready for toilet training.
How to start toilet training?
Toilet training is a gradual process that requires patience and consistency. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Establish a routine: Establishing a routine for going to the bathroom, such as after meals or before bedtime, will help your child associate going to the bathroom with certain times of the day. Make sure to follow this routine consistently.
- Use a potty chair: Use a small potty chair that your child can sit on comfortably. Let your child get used to the potty chair by letting them sit on it with their clothes on.
- Demonstrate: Demonstrate how to use the potty chair by letting your child watch you or an older sibling use the bathroom. This will help your child understand what to do and what is expected of them.
- Encourage: Encourage your child to sit on the potty chair regularly, even if they don’t need to go. Praise them for sitting on the potty chair, and make it a fun and positive experience.
- Use positive reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement, such as stickers or small treats, to reward your child for using the potty chair. This will motivate them to continue using the potty chair.
- Be patient: Be patient and understanding. Toilet training takes time, and accidents will happen. Don’t scold or punish your child for accidents, as it can make them anxious and stressed about the process.
- Gradually transition to underwear: Once your child is comfortable using the potty chair, start transitioning them to underwear. Let them pick out their own underwear to make the process more fun and exciting.
- Remind: Remind your child to use the bathroom regularly, especially if they are busy playing or watching TV. Set a timer or an alarm to remind them to use the bathroom every few hours.
- Use training pants: Consider using training pants during the transition to underwear. Training pants are designed to look and feel like underwear but have extra absorbency in case of accidents.
- Stay positive: Stay positive and celebrate your child’s successes. Let them know how proud you are of them for learning how to use the bathroom independently. Encourage them to continue practicing and remind them that accidents are okay.
- Dress your child in easy-to-remove clothing: Dress your child in clothing that is easy to remove, such as pants with an elastic waistband. This will make it easier for your child to use the bathroom independently.
- Read books about toilet training: Reading books about toilet training can help your child understand the process and feel more comfortable about using the bathroom. There are many children’s books available on this topic that can make the process more fun and less intimidating.
- Use a step stool: Use a step stool to help your child reach the toilet or the sink for handwashing. This will make it easier for your child to use the bathroom independently.
- Avoid using pressure or punishment: Avoid using pressure or punishment to try to make your child use the potty chair. This can cause anxiety and stress, which can make toilet training more difficult.
- Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to toilet training. Stick to the routine and encourage your child to use the bathroom regularly, even if they don’t need to go.
- Be prepared for setbacks: Setbacks are normal during the toilet training process. Your child may have accidents or regress to using diapers temporarily. Be patient and supportive during these times, and continue to encourage your child to use the bathroom independently.
- Don’t compare your child to others: Remember that every child is different, and toilet training can be a gradual process. Don’t compare your child to others or feel pressured to toilet train your child before they are ready.
- Consider using a reward chart: A reward chart can be a fun and effective way to motivate your child during the toilet training process. Use stickers or check marks to track your child’s successes, and offer a reward when they reach a certain number of successes.
- Use language your child understands: Use simple language and phrases that your child can understand when talking about using the bathroom. Avoid using complex or confusing terms that may make the process more difficult.
- Be patient and flexible: Toilet training can be a challenging process, but it is important to stay patient and flexible. Your child may need more time or different approaches to the process, so be open to trying different methods and adjusting as needed.
In conclusion, toilet training can be a daunting task for parents, but it is an important milestone in a child’s development. By paying attention to your child’s readiness and personality, establishing a routine, using positive reinforcement, and being patient and consistent, you can help your child successfully transition to using the bathroom independently. Remember to stay positive, be prepared for setbacks, and celebrate your child’s successes along the way.
About The Author
Dr. Krisca is a highly-educated and skilled physician who has obtained a BS Public Health degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute. She is a licensed physician and also a Registered Medical Technologist. She has received additional training in Hemodialysis for Non-Nephro Physicians on duty and has completed online courses in related fields like depression in populations from John Hopkins University and positive psychiatry from The University of Sydney. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of International Health in the University of the Philippines.
Dr. Krisca is known for her outstanding skills and compassionate approach to healthcare that make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through her passion for healthcare, she hopes to make a difference in the world and help people lead healthier, happier lives.