Toilet training and children Toilet training is a major developmental step, both physically and emotionally for toddlers and so needs to be handled very carefully. Whilst most parents look forward to the day when their child no longer needs nappies, very few happily anticipate the process of potty training. With perseverance, they will get past this hurdle. Each child will display a unique ability to be toilet trained when the time is right for them and no one else.
Although there are ways for you to monitor this readiness, it would be unwise to proceed with the training before you see the signs. Physically a child must be able to hold in their urine for several hours, though this will only occur when his/her bladder muscles have developed enough. Mentally the child must also be able to recognise the signs that they are in need to use the toilet. Not only will they need to recognise the physical signs that they need to use the toilet but they will need to recognise them before they urinate or defecate.
Some signs that a child may be ready to train are * If their nappies remain dry for several hours at a time * If the child tells you they need to use the toilet * If the child shows their frustration in nappies * If the child shows an interest in other children who have been toilet trained Once the child is physically and mentally ready to train, as well as showing no fear or dislike for it, it may be time to start. There is no one standard way to toilet train a child but most families find whatever way they feel comfortable with and has worked for their families in the past.
Some of the things families choose to do are * Take a trip to the shops and buy a special potty with their child * Allow the child to play with the potty * Explain the use of the toilet using books and videos * Bribing works! Rewards systems and treats * Talk about being a “big kid” most children love the idea of being grown up * If you are ok with it, let your child see you using the toilet * Train boys to sit before they stand It is extremely important to make every effort to keep training positive.
Each time they have dry pants use lots of praise and express your delight. Even if they ask to go to the toilet but do not use it, praise them and tell them “it’s ok you can try again”. Expect some accidents and always remain calm, never tease or punish a child for a mistake. Be consistent, make sure you have set aside enough time to complete the process and dedicate your full attention to it. Most children can be free from nappies in just a few days. Preparation is key make sure you have enough time, clothes and underwear!
Whilst some children will take to potty training really quickly some may not. If this is the case back off for a few days, sometimes this will then encourage the child to ask to use the toilet. Don’t force the issue, some children can become more resistant the more you push. If your child is like this then give them some space. Make it as fun as you can, sing songs, read books involve their favourite toys, this will help them and you relax and make things a bit easier. Once your child has mastered the day time training, start on the night time.
Make sure you have a calm night time routine, research shows that excited children produce more urine. Limit drinking for about an hour before bed and encourage them to use the toilet before settling down for the night. Investing in a waterproof mattress cover is a good idea as accidents are bound to happen and it will make bed changes much easier. Remember most of all to relax! Don’t get stressed if your child is not progressing a quickly as other children, every child will do it when the time is right for them and you.