Toilet Training

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Toilet training

The age range for a child being ready for potty training can vary widely, from around 18 months to four years and girls can sometimes be quicker than boys.

Signs your child is ready

  • Shows an interest in watching others when they use the toilet.
  • Is able to express when they need to go to the toilet and has some basic language.
  • Can follow simple instructions.
  • Can remain dry for three or four hours at a time – and therefore is developing the bladder control needed to stay dry.
  • Are becoming aware of when they have a wet or soiled nappy.

Preparing for the potty

  • Make sure you have plenty of pants/knickers at the ready- there will be some accidents at the beginning.
  • Get your child familiar with the potty or toilet seat before you start toilet training- have it out in the bathroom so your child can look at and explore it without any pressure.
  • Read stories about the potty, if possible let your child see other people using the toilet particularly other children.

Getting Started

  • Decide on a time to begin avoiding times of change such as a new baby, moving house etc.
  • Go cold turkey - explain what you are asking your child to do and get rid of the nappies/pull ups – wearing knickers/pant allows them to feel when they are wet and develop their understanding.
  • Sit your child on the potty regularly at the beginning in the hope you’ll catch something in the potty!
  • Give loads and loads of praise and encouragement – including motivation if you wish such as sticker charts or treats.

The first few days

  • The first few days can seem like a never ending cycle of wet clothes and accidents but keep going and just when you think you’ll never get there things suddenly seem to fall into place.
  • Don’t be angry when your child has an accident. Just tell them to try again next time and move on.
  • Be realistic; expect accidents it will take some time!
  • If your child doesn’t seem ready at first don’t worry. Stop and start again at a later date.

Problems along the way

  • Children quite often have more difficulty getting used to doing a poo on the potty which can sometimes be down to fear. Talking it through using stories and through play can help and sometimes incentives can make them more willing to give it a go!
  • If you continue to be concerned it’s best to visit your doctor for advice.
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