Toilet training is a significant milestone for children, but guiding them through the entire process—from wearing diapers to using a potty chair—can be very challenging for parents. In this article, we explore the tips for toilet training your child and the secrets to make this transition smoother and easier for both parents and little ones.
Is your child ready for toilet training?
Toilet training is all about teaching your child to recognise the signal of “fullness” and the need to urinate and defecate with the use of a potty chair. Most of the children are ready for toilet training when they reach the age of 18 months to 24 months. Some might be older than 2 years.
If your child is showing these signs, he or she is ready for the adventure of toilet training:
- stay dry for at least 2 hours
- sit comfortably in one position for short periods
- show interest in other people using the toilet
- tells you with words or show gestures when they want to poo or wee in their diapers
- begins to dislike wearing a diaper and trying to pull it off when it’s wet
- has regular and soft bowel movements
- able to pull their pants up and down
What are the preparations you need to do before toilet training your child?
To get your child ready for toilet training, here are the preparations before the first diaper-free trial:
- Bring your child to purchase his or her potty chairs and let him or her choose the one with their favourite colour and cartoon.
- It is good to let your child play with the potty chair and invite him to sit on it even with his pants. This helps him to familiarise himself with the use of a potty chair.
- Tell him stories about toilet training and the benefits of using a potty chair. You can also say, “Using a potty chair is fun” and “Wow, you are a big boy /girl now and you got a potty chair!’
- Get ready with training pants which are specially designed to be more absorbent than regular underwear, making them suitable for accidental pee or poo during potty training.
- Start teaching your child the words for going to the toilet, such as ‘wee’ and ‘poo’ or other words that both of you are comfortable with.
How to toilet-train your child?
Here are the 10 practical potty-training tips to the job done faster:
- It is best to start toilet training when you have no plan to go out and there are no changes in your kid’s routine. For example, avoid doing it when your kid just starting childcare.
- Keep the potty chair in an easily accessible place for your kid.
- Let your child wear training pants all the time.
- Encourage your child to sit on the potty regularly, for example after waking up in the morning, after meals and before naps, baths and bedtime, for no longer than 5 minutes at a time. (Sitting on a potty chair for a long time will make your child feel punished)
- Try not to give toys while he is sitting on the potty so that they can focus on recognising his/her need to pee or poo.
- Praise your child for each attempt. Rewards him with some things he or she like such as stickers.
- Teach your child how to wash hands after using the toilet.
- Be kind and mindful. Don’t punish your child if he can’t understand your instructions or accidentally pee or poo.
- Be patient and patient. Toilet training takes time. It is normal for kids to have many wet and dirty pants before a successful attempt.
- When your child is able to stay dry throughout the day time, you can proceed to train him to stay dry overnight. You may continue to let your child put on a diaper overnight and encourage them to wake up and inform when they need to pee or poop at night.
- For boys, you also need to teach them how to pee while standing. Once he masters the potty while seated, he can try standing up to pee. Teach him to aim carefully. An older brother or father can be a model. To make it fun, you can buy a training urinal specially designed for toddlers.
Potty training is a unique journey for each child and often takes a few months or a year. Being kind and patient, praising your little ones and infusing the process with fun are the keys to making this little big transition smoother and enjoyable!
Also, read our informative article on “How to Handle Toddler Tantrums Like a Pro”.