Toilet Training

Toilet Training

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During early childhood years one of the most important task to be achieved by the child is “Toilet” trained…. a phrase that can strike fear into the minds of preschool parents, teachers and care takers around the globe. Toilet training, or potty training, is the process of training a young child to use the toilet for urination and defecation, though training may start with a smaller toilet bowl-shaped device (often known as a potty).

In order for a toddler to be successfully toilet trained, the child needs to be able to sense the urge to go, be able to understand what the feeling means, and then be able to verbalize that the child needs your help to make it to the toilet and actually go.

At home and at school it is important to be toilet trained. Parents at home, teachers and care takers at preschool plays a key role in toilet training.

Parents, teachers and care takers need to provide their child with direction, motivation and reinforcement. They need to set aside time and have patience with the toilet training process and can encourage the child to be independent and allow the child to master each step at his or her own pace.


Steps in Toilet Training

Before introducing the toilet or potty, it helps a lot if you have an established daily routine with your child. This way, the new activity of using the toilet or potty can be slotted into your normal routine.

  • Stop using nappies (except at night and during daytime sleeps). Begin using underpants or training pants.
  • Dress the child in clothes that are easy to take off – for example, trousers with elastic waistbands, rather than full body suits.
  • Make the child to sit on the potty each day at times when he’s likely to have a bowel movement, like 30 minutes after eating or after having a bath.
  • Give child lots of fibre to eat and water to drink so that doesn’t become constipated, which can make toilet training difficult.
  • If child doesn’t cooperate or seems disinterested, just wait until he’s willing to try again.
  • Some encouragement and positive praise for their efforts also helps in training them (even if progress is slow).
  • Look out for signs that child needs to go to the toilet – some cues include changes in posture, passing wind and going quiet.
  • At different stages throughout the day (but not too often), you might ask child if needs to go to the toilet.
  • You’ll need to wipe your child’s bottom at first, until your child learns how. Remember to wipe from the front to the back, particularly with little girls.
  • Teach your child how to wash her hands after using the toilet. This can be a fun activity that your child enjoys as part of the routine.
  • Toilet training might take days or months.
  • Generally, signs that your child is ready for toilet training appear from about two years on, although some children show signs of being ready at 18 months.


Your child is showing some signs of being ready if he/she:

  • Is walking and can sit for short periods of time, is becoming generally more independent when it comes to completing tasks
  • Is 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 regular, soft, formed bowel movements
  • Can pull his pants up and down


Not all these signs need to be present when your child is ready. A general trend will let you know it’s time to start. The readiness skills and physical development of your child needs occur between age 18 months and 2.5 years.

Your child will show cues that he or she is developmentally ready. Signs of readiness include the following:

Your child can imitate your behavior, Your child begins to put things where they belong, Your child can demonstrate independence by saying “no, Your child can express interest in toilet training ( eg, following you to the bathroom),Your child can walk and is ready to sit down, Your child can indicate first when he is “going” (urinating or defecating) and then when he needs to “go”, Your child is able to pull clothes up and down (on and off),Each child has his or her own style of behavior, which is called temperament. In planning your approach to toilet training, it is important to consider your child’s temperament, Consider your child’s moods and the time of day your child is most approachable. Plan your approach based on when your child is most cooperative, If your child is enerally shy and withdrawn, he or she may need additional support and encouragement.

Work with your child’s attention span. Plan for distractions that will keep him or her comfortable on the potty chair. For example, reading a story to your child may help keep him or her interested.

Consider your child’s frustration level, and be ready to encourage and reassure him or her at each step.

Before you begin toilet training, have your child examined by his or her health care provider.

During your child’s check-up, talk with the health care provider about the child’s developmental readiness and temperament. Your health care provider can help you determine whether your child is ready to begin toilet training and help you plan your approach.

Timing is important. Toilet training should not be started when the child is feeling ill or when the child is experiencing any major life changes such as moving, new siblings, new school, or new child-care situation.

Toilet training includes discussing, undressing, going, wiping, dressing, flushing, and handwashing.

Remember to reinforce your child’s success at each step.

There are many steps to the toilet training process. The more ready the child is when you begin, the more quickly the toilet training process will go. Initial success relies on your child understanding the use of the toilet, not mastering the process.

The advantages of toilet training

Preschooler’s natural urge to develop and grow will carry your preschooler through most of the difficult stages of toilet training without a huge amount of effort on your part.”

The child desires to become more independent and motivates to want to go to the bathroom on her own.

  • Toileting is a skill that needs to be learnt. It cannot be taught overnight. The key to toilet learning is teaching not training the child. Learning on their own is reward enough for them to be able to independently help themselves in remaining clean or not soiling themselves
  • Helps in Physical Readiness, Emotional readiness, Language efficiency improves and helps in bowel movement control.
  • Toilet learning is linked to the child’s self-esteem, so genuine verbal praise is important.
  • Language also plays a big part in keeping a positive attitude with toilet learning.

To conclude, there should be no pressure put on children to be toilet trained. Toilet learning is a natural process and should be done at a pace the child is comfortable with. Allowing children to become aware of their bodily functions from the sensitive period of development allows for less distress when the child is older and more physically able to control their toileting abilities.




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