Toilet training children can be challenging for parents. Thankfully, there is plenty of advice available on successfully transitioning your child from nappies to underwear. So, if you’re looking to make this parenting milestone less stressful for both you and your little one, follow these top tips for toilet training toddlers.

1. Start Training When They’re Ready

When toilet training your child, it’s important to start when they’re ready. As kids develop at different stages, there is no set time when they should begin using the toilet. While the majority of children start toilet training between 22 and 30 months, some aren’t ready until after their third birthday.

To identify whether your child is ready for toilet training, look out for these signs:

  • They tell you when they are about to or have already relieved themselves.
  • They are uncomfortable in a dirty nappy.
  • They can pull up and down their pants and are physically capable of using the toilet.
  • They understand the words used in toilet training.
  • They are interested in the toilet habits of others.

2. Ensure You Have All the Necessary Items

Before beginning the toilet training process, be sure you have all the necessary items to ensure success. While there are many toilet training products available today, these are a few of the essentials:

  • Underwear
  • A potty or toilet insert
  • A step to help them use the toilet and wash their hands
  • Clean-up supplies for accidents

3. Begin with Day Training

Starting to toilet train by focusing on daytime habits is ideal. As toilet training for the night-time can be challenging, it’s best to start with the easier option. Not only will this make the process less stressful for your child, but it’ll also allow them to apply their daytime toilet skills to the night-time when ready.

4. Help Them Recognise the Signs

Children often don’t recognise the signs of needing to use the toilet when in nappies. So, when they graduate to the potty or toilet, they have accidents. You can prevent accidents by helping your child to identify the cues that they need to use the toilet. Start by asking if they need to go at times when they usually do and when they’re showing signs, such as crossing their legs or passing wind.

5. Choose Clothes That Make Using the Toilet Easy

Clothing that is difficult to remove can be the difference between your child reaching the toilet in time and having an accident. To ensure going to the toilet is quick and easy, dress your little one in simple clothing, such as a skirt or dress or loose pants with an elastic waist.

6. Use Underwear

Nappies make kids feel comfortable relieving themselves without going to the toilet. So, they can prevent progress during toilet training. Underwear, however, will help your child understand that it’s time for them to start using the toilet. Although there will undoubtedly be accidents, the uncomfortable feeling of being wet will help encourage them to use the bathroom.

7. Help Them Overcome Their Fears

Many children fear using the toilet, especially for bowel movements. To ensure a pleasant toilet training experience for everyone, it’s important to address these fears. If you’re unsure why your child is scared, ask a doctor for help. Once you know the problem, you can find a solution.

8. Don’t Make a Big Deal of Accidents

It’s inevitable that accidents will happen when you begin toilet training your child. When they do, don’t make a big deal of it. Children respond best to positive reinforcement as negative comments can damage their self-esteem.

9. Use a Lot of Praise

Accidents may not be a big deal, but when your child uses the toilet by themselves, it’s cause for celebration. With plenty of praise and positive reinforcement, your child will soon love using the bathroom.

10. Tailor Your Method for Boys and Girls

It’s no secret that boys and girls use the toilet differently. So, you’ll need to adjust your training accordingly. While girls need to wipe for both urination and bowel movements (ideally from front to back), boys can shake off excess urine. It’s also important to teach boys how to use the toilet standing up and aim.

Although toilet training can be challenging, these tips can make the process easier for both you and your child. Follow them and, before you know it, you’ll have a little one that no longer needs nappies and is completely capable of using the toilet on their own.

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Feature image: Photo by Picsea on Unsplash

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