Toilet Training: Tips & Tricks
Are You Ready
Toilet training can be a busy time. If you’re just getting started try to choose a long weekend or holiday so that your family has uninterrupted time at home to start establishing positive habits. Times of stress (like after the birth of a younger sibling) can be difficult times to start toilet training. Even if you’re not quite ready for the whole process, there are simple ways you can get ready.
Is Your Child Ready
There are a few key signs of developmental readiness for toileting:
- ability to follow one-step directions
- independently sitting up for at least 3 minutes
- awareness or interest in toileting
- participation in clothing management (can pull up or down diaper and pants)
If your child is showing some but not all of the signs, that’s ok! You can start with working on these skills.
Get Set Up
Have a look at your bathroom set up – the toilet (or potty) should be easily accessible. Kid’s feet should always be supported when they are sitting on the toilet! If you’re toilet training with a full-size toilet be sure to add a stool so they can get on and off the toilet independently.
You may also think about getting a reducer ring to make the toilet seat smaller and more comfortable.
Focus on What Your Child Can Do
If your child isn’t quite ready for all of the steps of toileting, that’s ok! Start by involving them in steps they are
ready for. You can wash your hands together, practice dressing and undressing, and let your little one flush the toilet.
Older siblings are powerful models -if you have an older child encourage him or her to be an example.
Talk Time Together
Bathroom breaks are such a regular part of adult life that it’s easy to forget that this is a new and challenging skill for children to learn.
Give your child opportunities to explore the bathroom. Talk about toilet training with them. There are even many pictures books out there for learning about “potty time”.
Keep Toilet Breaks Short, Clear & Positive
Sitting on the toilet is not exciting, especially for young children. Keep the times you have your child sit on the toilet short. No more than 1 minute for each year of their age.
Frequent bathroom breaks are better than long bathroom breaks. Keep them company – you can chat or sing
together. Bonding with your child over toileting makes the experience positive and reduces anxiety.
Click here to download this lesson as a PDF.