How to toilet train a child.

Toilet training, or potty training, is the process of training children to use the toilet. Generally, parents are not sure about when to start potty training. It depends from a child to child; not all are ready at the same age. Parents will have to look for the signs of readiness, For example, they are clutching their diaper and willingly not passing in it. Although there is no specific age but normally children start showing these signs between 18 and 24 months. Boys often start later and take longer to learn toilet training than girls.

Before starting the training parents should see that, their children are able to:

  • complain about wet or dirty diapers
  • follow and understand the basic directions about potty training.
  • control the stool and urine to pass.
  • say when they have an urge to go.
  • hold and not urinate in diaper for at least 2 hours.
  • use the potty chair or toilet on their own.
  • remove their diaper / clothes on their own.

Don’t wait for all the signs to show up. A trend of few above points will let you know it’s time to start. Just keep in mind that your child should be aware of the sensation of doing it and most importantly, he/she should be interested in learning. Teach them the words like ‘wee’, ‘poo’ or ‘I need to go’ so that they can signal you when its time.

Potty or Toilet?

Potty is a colourful bowl used by small children as a toilet. The main advantage of potty is that it is portable and easy to carry. Your child is familiar with it and knows that it’s his / her potty. Children are more comfortable in a potty than toilet because of the scare of falling in the later.

If your child is using the toilet, you will need a small toilet seat that fits perfectly inside your existing toilet seat. You will also need a step for your child to get on the toilet.

Simple steps for toilet training:

  • Start giving your children lots of fiber in their diet.
  • Make him/her drink lots of water, so that the child is not constipated.
  • Start the training the day when you are not going out.
  • Make your child sit in the potty/toilet every time when he/she is supposed to wee or poo, Like few minutes after having a meal or taking a bath.
  • If your child is not cooperating, choose another day for training.
  • Praise them when you see the progress.
  • Use diapers only when the child sleeps.
  • Make your child wear the clothes that are easy to remove.
  • Let them be bare bottom, they will be more likely to understand the use of toilet.
  • Ask your child if he/she needs to go to the toilet, do this few times a day(not too much).
  • Don’t make your child sit on the toilet for more than five minutes, if nothing happens consider it a false alarm.
  • Observe when your child changes expression, it may be a sign that your child needs to go to the toilet.
  • Teach them to clean their bottoms if they are comfortable with it.
  • Teach your child how to wash hands after using the toilet.
  • Don’t react or scold if your child does it in the pants.
  • Make it clear to your child if he/she needs to go to the toilet in the middle of the night its ok and you will help.
  • Always make them go to the toilet before bed.

Have patience, setbacks and accidents are just part of the process; don’t let your child get de-motivated because of it. Accompany your child in potty time even after they are completely trained to keep an eye on any possibility of abnormality like poo being too watery or constipated, blood in the poo, the color of the urine etc. If you see a problem contact your doctor.

Don’t push your children, let them learn at their own pace. Remember you can lead a child to the potty but you can’t make him/her do it.