Toilet Training- Are you BOTH ready?!

Toilet Training- Are you BOTH ready?!

If you’re considering tackling toilet training, then there is no better time than summer to start it. Not only is it a good time to take a week or two off work so you can concentrate your efforts on the task, but the weather is warm enough to allow your child to run around the house without pants on, and also warm enough to dry any sheets/clothing that may need washing in the process!

Before you start, it is imperative that you make sure that not only is your child ready to start training, but you are too. You may be ready to stop buying and changing nappies, but if your child isn’t physiologically, psychologically or emotionally ready to train, then it will be a long uphill battle for you both. Likewise, if your child is ready to start training but you don’t have the time, resources or support then it will be equally as challenging.

So here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I have time to commit myself fully to toilet training?
  • Are there no conflicting major events occurring (such as new baby, moving house, holidays)?
  • Do I have the support of other carers such as babysitters and child care staff?
  • Do I have all the equipment needed for toilet training (such as training pants, loose clothing for easy removal, reward options, communication aids, toileting equipment)
  • Does my child have healthy, predicatable bowel movements?
  • Does my child urinate a fair amount at once?
  • Does my child’s nappy remain dry for at least 2 hours or during naps?
  • Does my child indicate if their nappy is wet/soiled?
  • Does my child show any signs when releasing their bladder/bowel?
  • Does my child show interest in the toilet environment or toilet routine such as washing hands or using underwear?
  • Does my child respond to rewards (including positive praise)?
  • Can my child independently sit for periods of 2-5 minutes?
  • Can my child follow simple instructions?







And remember, there is no magic age at which children need to start toilet training, and just because all of your friend’s children were toilet trained by 2, doesn’t mean you should train your child if they’re not showing any signs of readiness.

And to close with a quote from Occcupational Therapist Debbie Atkins, who created the Toilet Time resource for Disability Services: ‘Be Patient. Be Positive. Be Persistent’. (and good luck!)

  • ropi4
    Posted at 07:30h, 03 March Reply

    With my daughter and step son we oeffred the opportunity to wear big girl (or big boy) underwear. It also worked with my sister when she was a baby.I took my daughter to the store and let her pick her new panties.My step son had been working on it for a few weeks. But he finally found the control when he had the opportunity to wear a pair of spiderman underwear.At some point we all reach the point where we feel the indignity of having our diaper changed and the discomfort of wetness on our bum.Learning to use the toilet is self motivating at this point. Picking out and getting to wear big kid underwear is a positive reward.Another little tip is to forgo the baby potty altogether. My mom had us facing the rear of the toilet and gripping the top of the toilet seat. There is no danger of falling in this way and all you need is a little stool for the child to climb up on.They are extremely proud of themselves whenever they get up and use the big person’s potty.Start out with big kids undees during the day and remind them to go potty. Especially before and after meals. Before laying down and upon waking up. Remember: nothing to drink an hour before bedtime.I used to clap whenever my daughter would put one in the toilet.Moms need to teach little girls to wipe the proper way so they don’t get germs from the rear into the front.Make sure clothes are easy to remove: especially when you go out. I once heard a little boy in the stall next to me struggling with his belt and slowly going to tears because he was unable to get his pants off and ended up peeing on him self although he desperately wanted not to.

    • otfc
      Posted at 07:38h, 03 March Reply

      Thanks for the comment. It is clear that you have had some positive experiences with toilet training. As our blog post discusses, it is important to make sure the toilet time is a POSITIVE time and rewards and options are always effective. I certainly agree with your point about appropriate clothing, it is hard for any child to navigate a belt, let alone when they need to use a toilet!

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