So you've decided that your child is ready for toilet training, and now you're wondering what next! Most kids start showing an interest in their eh "bodily functions" sometime between 18 months and three years.
How do you know when the time is right?
One great sign is when your child starts to point out when their nappy is wet or dirty!
Something you can look out for is when times between nappy changes are becoming noticeably longer, as this will give your more flexibility with toilet time!
So, first things first, accidents are an inevitable part of the toilet training process, and they're likely going to continue for a few weeks until your toddler gets the hang of things! There are two avenues you can do down, the potty or a special training toilet seat. Both have their pros and cons, so choose the one most suitable for your child and home situation!
The next thing is to dress your toddler in clothing that are both easy to get out of and easy to wash; trust me, the last thing you want is a special outfit ruined!
You're going to have to watch your toddler pretty closely for signs they require a toilet:
- Facial expressions
- Standing still
- Quietly hiding in a corner
This will take some practice, but once you notice, guide them to the toilet or potty and when they make it on time, praise them both for succeeding and for trying! Chastisement DOES NOT help with toilet training, so if it isn't working, take a step back and take a break from it for now! That is to say, don't pressure your child into trying when they're not ready; they're little people after all, and if it is likely to stress you out, the same goes for them!
Some other things to make a note of, you're going to have to continue to clean your toddler for the first while, start with getting them to the toilet, then work up to self-cleaning, or standing position to wee if they're a boy.
Another thing to be aware of is that they may be perfectly trained and dry during the day, but night time might cause some extra challenges. Toddlers are not as aware of their body when sleeping, so they may not stay dry overnight for the first while.
Encourage them to go to the toilet before going to bed, and keep some spare sheets around! If it's a constant or regular thing at first, consider a waterproof mattress protector. A nightlight in the bedroom can do wonders to make them feel more comfortable getting up to go to the toilet. And, of course, avoid liquid intake before bedtime!