A child is physically and emotionally ready to be toilet trained tentatively between 18 to 36 months. But, depending on the child’s mind-set, it could be a lot sooner or later. There is a lot of social pressure on young parents to toilet train their babies, but one should never hurry up the process as the toddler’s brain should be ready enough to control her bowel and bladder.
The child’s nerve pathways from bladder to brain should be mature enough to understand the urge for wee or poo. This usually happens around 18 months. However, the child is still not sure whether she wants to empty her bowel or bladder. It takes time for the young mind to be familiar with the feelings of needing to go. This happens around 2.5 years although it can be earlier or later.
Transition from nappies to pants:
The child will probably make the big step out of his nappies and into pants, between the ages of 18 to 36 months. Around this time, the bowel and bladder muscles mature helping your child predict when he needs to go to the toilet. Toilet training should be a fun filled activity and not stressful for the child. Check if your child is ready for it before hurriedly trying to wrap it up as a lesson Show it to your child by sitting on the toilet yourself, see if he/she are able to take simple instructions, invest in child friendly equipment and be patient, very patient.
Tips for toilet training:
- Dress up the child in easily manageable clothes, which they can manage to pull down themselves
- Keep motivating and playing games together with the child while he/she is using potty
- Read out a story or make the child watch a video, while he/she sits on potty
- Always praise your child if they have successfully used the potty or even if they just sit and get up without doing anything
- Don’t react negatively even if there is an accident, this is very common during toilet training
- Don’t create a fuss, if there is a need to change him after an accident. This will pull his interest from potty training and he may also hang on his poo for a long time
- If the child is not ready, don’t force him for toilet training. Leave it for some time and then try again after some weeks
- Give them a lot of reminders, many children have the habit of holding their wee or poo
- Ask them to use potty after a meal: preferably after breakfast
- Your patience matters a lot to the child
- Let’s face it; in the initial phases of toilet training, accidents are bound to happen. The parents should not get furious as they might need to change his clothes every now and then. Remember remaining calm can simplify things.
- Try to hide your feelings of disgust, in case of an accident. It may not be pleasant for the parents but the child may get upset or worried about doing a poo if he sees them reacting badly
- Try to teach hygiene alongwith toilet training – like encourage washing of hands after the use of toilet.
Transition from potty to toilet:
Once the child is trained to use the potty, he/she may show interest in using the toilet. At this point of time, provide the child with a sturdy stool and a toilet trainer seat. He/she may like the parent to hold his or her hands while sitting on the toilet. Even, if he can get up and down and pull his pants on his own, he will still need your help in wiping off himself.
Always encourage the child to use the potty before going to sleep. Put a waterproof cover on bed-sheet, till he gets accustomed to this new habit of using toilet. The process of toilet training can be very simple for the child if parents are with him, supporting at every step. He may become anxious due to repeated accidents, but their company will encourage him.