So, you got pregnant, gave birth to a beautiful baby, had sleepless nights, changed countless diapers and now it has all come to this: Toilet training. Most parents are not sure when to begin toilet training their children. Is it when they are 2 years old? Is it when another sibling arrives? Is it when we are traveling? But the answer is simple: Begin when you and your child are both ready.
When to Start Potty Training
Most children show signs of readiness when they are between 18 and 24 months. They may clutch their diapers or point to the washroom or tell you that they have to go to 'potty'. They may also understand words about the toilet process and learn to pull up and pull down their diapers. Some children usually girls may even be ready earlier than 18 months. But it is important that you do not use your child's age as an indicator to begin toilet training. Instead, look for the signs mentioned above. Also, keep in mind that teaching your toddler to use the toilet will not happen overnight. It may take between 3 to 6 months or even more than that. So, you have to be patient. When you are patient and look for these signs, toilet training can be easy for both you and your little one.
Teaching Your Child Toilet Training
To prepare your child to go the toilet and feel comfortable at the same time, allow your child to discover the bathroom. Let him or her see urine and bowel movements in the toilet. Also, show your child how to flush the toilet and tell them that it can be a fun experience.
There are two different types of training toilets which your child can use: a stand-alone toilet chair with a bowl or a seat which can be placed on top of your toilet. But before you train your child, set up the stand-alone toilet chair in your child's play area. Have your little one sit on it with their diapers on, touch it and become familiar with the potty. Tell your child that it's their chair and have them leave it and sit on it anytime. But do not force them to sit on the chair.
After a while when your child becomes used to the chair and sits on it regularly, have them sit on it without their diapers and again, let him or her feel comfortable. After your child passes this stage, show your child how the chair is used. Dump the stool from your child's diaper into the potty chair and show your child that it should be transferred into the toilet. After this is done, let your child flush the toilet and praise your little one for a job well done.
When you child has become comfortable sitting on the potty chair and flushing the toilet, teach your child to actually go to the bathroom. Watch for signs and place your child on the potty chair when he or she has the urge to go to the bathroom. Stay with your child when he or she is on the potty and calm them by talking to them or even reading to them. When they are done, praise your child again. But do not show disappointment if they do not urinate or have a bowel movement. Be very patient.
Once your child has passed this stage, he or she is ready to use the over-the-toilet seat and the step-up stool.
For more information on potty training check out our toilet training videos.
For a bathroom that is just right for your toddler check out our articles on bathroom decor.