Toilet training can be a tricky time. There is a huge variation in when children will be ready to come out of nappies. Anything between 18 months and nearly 3 years is not unusual. The word "training" is misleading. Children can only come out of nappies when they are physically ready. If the timing is correct, most children will be clean and dry within a week. Too early means lots of accidents and the danger of everyone becoming frustrated. On the other hand if children are left in nappies too long, they become used to being in soiled and wet nappies.
The nest @ NCS Intimate Care Policy
So... When is the time right?
Watch for some of the signs in the following list:
- Stays dry at least two hours
- Dislikes wet or messy nappies
- Likes to please
- Imitates and follows simple instructions
- Walks and runs
- Asks you for nappy changes
- Tries to dress self
- Has an understanding of basic toileting vocabulary
Toilet training tips
Toilet training can be broken down into steps, just like any other learning process. The methods that work will vary greatly between individuals but the suggestions here are a good starting point.
- Watch and learn! Show your child how it is done. If you have slightly older children, they may be keen to show their sibling how they use the toilet too. Make it fun! #
- Have your child teach a doll or teddy how to use the toilet.
- Do hourly toilet-sits throughout Toilet Training Weekend, it may need to be more frequent to begin with, but they will go less often as they gain control.
- If your child shows early signs of knowing when they need to go and are communicating this, respect their wishes if they say they don’t need to. This will sometimes result in accidents, but this is part of the learning process.
- You will begin to see patterns, for example they will often go shortly after eating and drinking. This will help you to encourage them at the right times.
- Set up a chart with stickers or a lucky dip bag for good tries and even minor successes (tiny trickles).
- If their motivation wanes, pick it up with a spot of pants shopping or a phone call to a relative to share their successes.
- Over time, you will lead them less and let them dictate when they go.
Toilet training is one of those child development stages parents can find frustrating and complex. Making the transition from nappy to toilet can certainly be a challenge, particularly if you feel pressurised to start the process before your child is ready.
By choosing the right time and approaching toilet training in a calm, patient manner, you can get to grips with this new skill as quickly and smoothly as possible.
It is important to remember that every child is different so try not to compare your child to others. You may feel under pressure to 'get toilet training out the way', perhaps because you have another baby on the way, or your child may be starting nursery soon.
But rushing toilet training is counter-productive and it's worth bearing in mine that:
By the age of three, 9, out of 10 children are dry most days;
by the age of four most children are reliably dry.
So try not to worry or compete with others- wait to start toilet training at the right time for your child.
Useful website links:
See the document below for more information and tips on toilet training.