Toilet training, it is a part of growing up. A very important step into society – being able to use the toilet. So how can we help assist in the toilet training journey of the children in our care?
Mastering the toilet is a developmental step and we all know that children are ready when they are ready. Each child develops at his/her own pace and starting to toilet train is no different. This will be written, in a general sense.
Children learn to tell someone when they need to do a ‘poo’ or ‘wee’ and generally
, show signs that children are ready for toilet training appear from about two years on, although some children show signs of being ready at 18 months. Night-time training and doing a poo in the toilet can take a little longer.
Before introducing the toilet or potty, it helps a lot if a daily routine has been established, this way the use of the toilet or potty can be slotted into the typical routine. If you decide to go with a potty, go buy some stickers and get your little Toddler to decorate it. This way they feel less intimidated by the process and familiar with their potty.
|General trends and signs that may suggest the child is ready for toilet training:
- Walking and can sit for short periods of time.
- Becoming generally more independent when it comes to completing tasks.
- Becoming interested in watching others go to the toilet (this can be awkward or make you uncomfortable at first, but is a good way to introduce things).
- Has dry nappies for up to two hours – this shows the s/he is able to store urine in his/her bladder.
- Tells you (or shows obvious signs) when s/he does a poo or wee in her/his nappy – if s/he can tell you before it happens, s/he’s ready for toilet training.
- Your child begins to dislike wearing a nappy, perhaps trying to pull it off when it’s wet or soiled.
- Has regular, soft, formed bowel movements.
- Can pull pants up and down independently.
- Can follow simple instructions.
- Shows understanding about things having their place around the home.
When it comes to learning and new routines, we all know that consistency between the home and centre is key to success. Once it is established that you will be toilet training your child it is best to let your centre know. Talk to the room leader and let them know of your toileting routine, for example; sitting your toddler on the toilet in the morning, before bath time and before bed time. This way the room could use their room routine to remind your little on to sit on the toilet. Your discussion should also include the what system you have in place. Whether it be a rewards and/or encouragement. The centre may not be able to use the exact encouragements that you use at home but you could possibly come up with alternatives, for example; if you are using treats or a sticker chart, your child could instead accumulate stickers for that week. This way, a consistent approach to toilet training at home and in care is maintained with you in control of the rewards process.
- Talk often with your educators. Let them know if you changed strategies or tried something different.
- Do not forget to pack more spare clothes and underwear as there may be more accidents while they are at the centre than at home.
- Put your child in clothes that are easy to put on and take off.
- Let the educators know what words you use at home for toilet training.
- Be patient and celebrate the moments and let the families know as well of the achievements. When praising try and use descriptive praise, even when they don’t actually use the toilet, for example; “well done for sitting on the toilet”.
Some activity ideas to help assist toilet trainings:
You can support your child’s learning by providing visual cues and prompts. You can try to create a visual schedule for toileting and also provide your child with opportunities to sequence it themselves so they understand the process. Use the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).
This also helps children with ASD, who are often visual learners. Visual schedules can help to reinforce the routine of using the toilet, and provide reminders for taking regular toilet breaks.
There are so many picture books on toilet training, here are just a few:
“Girls/Boys Potty Time”:
has photographs and clear text. Simple to follow as well.
“I want my Potty”:
this book is part of ‘The Little Princess’ series of books and TV shows. It is simple to read with lots of colourful illustrations.
is the inner dialogue of the child learning to use the potty and both text and images align perfectly to make a funny tale.
From the same author of “Whose Egg” has major child appeal. Had bright illustrations and is simply hilarious. The title says it all.
This book is about the different types of potties that animals may use. It is cute and is a ‘lift the flap’ book and we all know how much Toddlers love these types of books.