What to expect when toilet training your child [Expert Tips Inside] 

At Child’s Play ELC, we often have parents ask us how we prepare children to be toilet trained and what tips we can provide them with for toilet training their toddler. Our advice is to recognise when your child is ready and able and let your child help with decisions that are relevant to their toilet training. Toilet training is a big milestone in your child’s development and can promote self-esteem, sense of accomplishment and independence.

How do I know they are ready for toilet training?

It can be different with each child but a best practice is to always approach toilet training with calmness and an encouraging attitude. The child should feel positive about going to the toilet go to the toilet and that this is an accomplishment.

It is just as important to not force it upon your child to go to the toilet but to recognise the signs they might be able to begin toilet training. Some of those signs are:

  • You are changing fewer nappies
  • Your child is becoming vocal about feeling uncomfortable with a wet nappy
  • Your child’s nappy is dry for 2 or more hours or waking up from naps dry
  • Your child shows interest in the toilet
  • Your child is beginning to follow simple instructions

What Age is Normal to start toilet training?

A common question that is asked is what age is normal to start toilet training. It is different for everyone and will generally depend on your child’s development. At Child’s Play ELC we recommend looking for clear signs of development instead of judging by age. Generally, a child will begin to show interest anywhere between 18 months and 3 years of age so as a parent don’t be alarmed if your child isn’t willing to be potty trained at their first birthday.

When should I start toilet training?

We recommend as a parent you should start toilet training when you have plenty of time, and there are no big changes to your life such as moving house. Having time and no big changes will ensure your child is as comfortable as possible when you start, and you can really focus on this. Being comfortable is extremely important as you want your child to view this process as a natural part of life and not begin to be fearful of going to the toilet.

Should I use a Potty or Toilet for toilet training?

Choosing between using a potty or using your toilet is a decision that should be made with you and your child. From an educator’s perspective, neither is better but it can be ideal to have both for your child to use. Some things to consider are: 

  • A potty is easier to sit on and their feet touch the floor, which some experts say help with bowel movements.
  • The toilet is where everyone else goes and your child might want to be like everyone else.
  • If your child wants to be toilet trained using the toilet consider buying a fitted seat and stool, so that they don’t fall down the toilet and aren’t worrying about this and at step will help them independently be able to go to the toilet without asking for help from parents or guardians
  • Letting your child choose their potty or toilet seat; so they feel special and empowered and potentially consider buying new “special” underwear to celebrate the achievement.

How can childcare help toilet train your child?

Childcare educators are a great help to assisting in toilet training your child. At Child’s Play we encourage you to share your toilet training experience and routine with us and ask questions if you are concerned. Our educators have a number of ways of encouraging children to go to the toilet. Some of them include: 

  • Breaking up toilet training into stages like wiping or flushing to help your child recognise the steps.
  • Asking them at intervals throughout the day
  • Getting them to sit on the toilet and sing songs
  • Having conversations about using the toilet
  • Reading stories about farting and going to the toilet to make it appear normal.

It can be important to remember at Child’s Play we have a different relationship with your child and it sometimes can be all the difference when toilet training if they won’t listen to you. As educators and as parents ourselves we can help you establish some techniques to help your child go to the toilet at home.

Accidents Happen whilst toilet training

At childcare we know that accidents happen especially when entering a new stage of life. At Child’s Play when an accident happens we will get your child changed as quickly as possible and our educators will attempt to find out why it happened. For example, they weren’t feeling well or they got scared. When an accident happens it is not about making the child feel bad or punishing them, it’s about promoting that going to the toilet is a natural occurrence and making them feel better. If children have an accident it is ok, it’s just part of the process; it’s really important that they can recognise this as an accident and feel ok to communicate this.

Some additional tips for toilet training

  • Let your child pick out their undies, stool or potty to make them feel like it’s theirs.
  • Use child-friendly language: pee, poo, wee, wiping your bum
  • Check your child’s facial expressions to understand when they are going
  • Let them watch you go to the toilet
  • Give lots of praise and positive reinforcement
  • Ask routinely if they need to go to the toilet
  • Pick out clothes they can remove themselves like skirts and pants
  • Remember to be patient
  • Read and use stories about going to the toilet
  • Stay positive and be encouraging

We’re a family

At Child’s Play we are family-run and family-focused childcare centre that provides children with a supportive and dynamic learning environment. We care about all our children and we want to help and enable our parents reach those developmental milestones with their children which is why we continue to provide our families with helpful educational resources. But if you need extra tips or advice on anything related to your child, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your educators.