Whether you are looking forward to saying goodbye to nappies forever, or you are dreading the thought of toilet training your toddler, most experts will agree that the most important part of the process is recognizing the signs that your child is truly ready for this next, important step.
Many of the problems parents and carers encounter when trying to potty or toilet train a toddler can be traced back to the child not being ready when they began the training. Some children are ready and the window of opportunity is missed due to parents not recognizing the signs or thinking that the child is too young, when in reality, there is a very wide range of ages when your child could be ?ready?.
Don?t rush your child ? make sure your child is ready or the potty training process will take much longer and be more painful for all involved. Here are some of the signs you should be looking out for. If you feel your child is at the stage where you can tick off all these signs, then they are likely to be ready for potty training and you can move forward with confidence.
Does your child have the understanding that is required to begin toilet training? If they can follow simple instructions and have the ability to tell you what they want or need, then the chances are they have the understanding to begin potty training. If they are at this stage then you can probably teach them the words for their pee and poo as well; this is important so that you can communicate to one another during the training.
There are signs in your child’s behaviour that will alert you to the fact that they are ready (or almost ready) to toilet train. If they show an interest in the toilet or potty and want to watch you go, then this is a great sign. They may squat or go to a special place to fill their nappy ? many children hide away to do their business when they get to the toilet training stage! If they show discomfort or disgust when they have filled their nappies and especially if they come to you to ask to be changed then this is a very strong sign that they are ready.
Children who are ready to toilet train often show a strong desire for independence and are keen to achieve milestones, rewards and master skills.
If your child’s bowel movements are fairly regular and they are of an even consistency (well formed) then it is likely that they are ready. They should have moved past the stage of passing small amounts of urine frequently so that they are dry for hours at a time. Most experts recommend not beginning potty training until your child is walking confidently, unless otherwise advised by a health professional. It will also help if your child is co-ordinated enough to pull their pants up and down.