How do you know if your child is ready?
Most children are ready around the age of 24 months, however all children are very unique and each individual is ready in their own time. Your child needs to be physically and emotionally ready, this means understanding the feeling of needing to go to the toilet and recognising what that feeling is. Their bowel movements need to be fairly predictable. Having a dry nappy for more than an hour at a time is a good sign that they are able to control their bladder movements. If your child is able to tell you that they have a wet or soiled nappy this is also a very positive indicator that your child is ready to begin. You can introduce the potty at nappy change times, encourage your child to sit on the potty or toilet, so that they associate this with when they are wet or soiled.
When you feel your child is ready there are two options, to go straight to pants or opt for pull-ups. Pull-ups can be good in the beginning, however some children can feel that they are still like a nappy and this can cause confusion. But you know your child best and together with your child you can work out what is right for you. Always be very positive about the potty or toilet. Let your child become involved in the decisions, such as taking them shopping to choose their potty or child toilet seat and step. Role play using your children’s toys, or reading stories about toilet training are helpful ideas to inspire your child with the training.
Keeping It Going
Consistency and routine are very important to children, encouragement to sit on the potty or toilet at regular times of the day, for example when they wake up, before and after meal times, and before bedtime. Always give praise whether your child has done anything or not in the toilet. Keeping a reward chart for successful toilet attempts and giving stickers or a small treat at the end of the day are positive ways to keep your child motivated and enthusiastic about being able to use the potty.
Soon your child will show signs of wanting to do it on their own so allow them their independence by placing the potty in an easily reached place, or setting the toilet up with the seat. Let your child know that they should tell you when they are going and tell your child that you are there if they need help. But remember toilet training does take time, some children might be able to master it in a couple of weeks but other children may take a few months, each child will grasp it eventually, just keep calm and stay patient. Make sure hand washing is learnt as well, this will ensure positive hygiene routines. Once your child has mastered the day time toilet training then the night time training can begin. Be aware of the child's readiness. At night, children should feel comfortable getting out of bed and finding the bathroom alone.
Here at Seymour House Day Nursery School, we want to be able to support your child’s development. We will inform you if your child is showing any signs to us, for example they may see their friends using the toilet or potty at nursery and indicate that they want to do that too, they may point to the nappy change room or tell us they have a soiled or wet nappy. We encourage you to talk to us, as you know your child best, let us know if you feel your child is ready to start using the potty. Let us know what methods you are using at home and we can follow your routine as best as possible.