How To – Toilet Training
Toilet Training is an important stage of childhood development. In this ‘Toilet Training Guide for Parents’, we break down the basics of toileting and share important information to help families have a positive and successful journey. There is a range of approaches and information about toilet training. Different approaches will suit individual family needs, as each child is unique. We are simply putting this information together to get you started on your journey. For a summary, please see this link Toilet Training information sheet
At Little Miracles we want to give families time to start the toilet training process, so your child is ready to transition into the Amazing Asteroids room. The below information will provide assistance to you and your family but again, as all children are unique, this information should be used as a guide rather than and exact formula.
Children have a natural time when they are ready to start the process of toilet training. Typically, this time is around 2 to 3 years of age. To have a positive and successful journey, toilet training should not be forced or started too early. Typically, bladder control is achieved quicker, and the bowel control normally takes a bit longer. One reason for this is bowel movements typically occur once to three times a day. Bladder movements occur more frequently. Therefore, it takes longer for the brain to recognise the signals that the bowel needs to empty.
Nighttime toilet training is a lot different to daytime toilet training and typically children take longer to gain control over night. Staying dry throughout the night happens at various ages. During the night children are not in conscious state and therefore their ability to recognise their bladder is full decreases significantly. With time and maturity, a child’s bladder increases in size and their body starts to produce more antidiuretic hormone which is a hormone that slows down the production of urine overnight. Nappies or pull ups can be an option to use during the night while the child develops this ability.
It is important to be excited, positive, and enthusiastic. Starting this journey can be daunting for young children and they need all the support and love they can receive.
When To Start
Successful toilet training is based around the child’s indication that they are ready. If parents start the process of toilet training to early, it could have a negative effect on a successful and positive experience. It is never too early to start talking about toilet training and creating an interest in using the toilet. Some children pick the skill up in a few days and some take longer.
A child will start showing cues or indications that they are ready to start the toilet training journey. Some of these indicators are
▪ Pull at their nappy if it is wet
▪ Using language such as “I wet”
▪ Stop playing when they are doing a wee or poo
▪ Showing interest and watching family members use the toilet
▪ Starting to self-dress and undress themselves
▪ Can follow instructions
▪ Can release urine on que
When choosing a date to start the toilet training process can be nerve racking. Studies have shown it is best to plan the first few days of toilet training during a quieter period. Most families try spending few days at home and limit the times they leave the house, so there is no extra pressure. It is advisable to avoid toilet training when there are lots of other things going on in the home such as a new baby, house move, or starting childcare. These are all potentially stressful. Choose your time wisely.
After you have noticed a few indications that your child may be ready to start the toilet training journey and have decided on a date you will need to decide what equipment you may need. There are many items out on the market for toilet training, it is totally up to individuals to decide what is best for their family and how much they wish to spend. Some basics you may need include:
– Underwear or training underwear (these are thicker undies with a terry toweling lining)
– Enough pants, shorts, skirts, or dresses to change into when accidents occur
– Cleaning products because they will have accidents, it is only natural.
– You may choose to buy a potty, step stool, toilet training seat or an all-in-one toilet training system. Make sure your child feels safe and comfortable using any items that are purchased.
– During the days make sure your child is dressed in clothing which is easily removed. The child should be dressed in clothes that are comfortable and bottoms that they can pull up and down by themselves (jumpsuits, belts or buttons can be tricky and therefore a child may not be able to undress in time).
– During the early days of toilet training, it is important to have a good routine. Set up the day well and it will help you stay positive and give the child a positive attitude. When they first wake in the morning or from their day nap take them straight to the toilet. Also take them to the toilet last thing at night before they go to bed. Before leaving the house or getting in the car, take the child to the toilet.
– Pick up on your child’s cues that they need to go. These could be, but not limited to, stepping from one foot to the other, holding themselves, looking distracted, freezing in one spot.
– Take your child to the toilet every couple of hours. Keep positive and give them a lot of support. It is best to keep calm and not be in a rush to get them to finish. Praise all attempts, even if they don’t wee or poo.
– Remember if they start in their pants, they may need to finish it off in the toilet. If they have an accident, its important to understand that they are not doing it because they want to have an accident. It is all very new and a skill to learn. If you get frustrated take a deep breath, take a minute, and react positive “I know you are trying”. If parents are stressed about the process, it can create a ripple effect on the child.
– The key is to stay positive. Keep the positive language going and know that it is normal to have accidents. Children are all different and succeed at toilet training at their own rate.
– All or nothing. If you start the toilet training process, be 100% committed. Be careful of putting nappies back on during this time as it gives conflicting information and may lead to regressing. If you try and your child is not ready go completely back to nappies and try another time.
– Setbacks are normal. As the child’s attention span increases, they can to lose track of the feeling of needing to go. This particularly happens during play as they are not breaking concentration by skipping from one activity to the next. Therefore, it is not uncommon for children at 3.5 to have accidents while focused on an activity.
– If your child will not make a bowel movement on the toilet try and continue to use positive language. Instead of saying “Don’t do poos in your undies” try use “Poos go in the toilet”. If a child gets told “don’t do poos in your undies” typically children will hold onto and hear the “don’t do” part and that leads to holding on and constipation.
Toilet Training In Preschool
– Ideally, it is best to start the toilet training process at home. Please keep communication open with the educators. We are here to partner with you on this exciting journey. Educators will support you through this journey and adapt to your toileting process in group care if possible. Please let us know what is working for you.
– During the early days of toilet training please bring at least four/five changes of spare clothes, including socks. You may wish to pack some extra shoes as well. When a child has an accident, educators will place wet items into a plastic bag to send them home. If you would like to reduce the plastic, you can pack a wet bag to replace the plastic bags if you wish.
– During the day when your child attends Little Miracles the educators will put a plan in place that will help your child be successful at toilet training in a shared care environment. It is sometimes common for young children in a shared care environment to have a few more accidents compared to at home. This is due to a range of factors such as attention span, and the one-on-one care at home compared to a group environment. This will improve with consistency and time. During the day the educators will take your child to the toilet at strategic intervals and give reminders throughout the day. Educators will use positive language to support the child through this journey and be positive and encouraging in all the attempts.
Here at Little Miracles, we are excited to partner with you through this journey. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to our amazing educators, or nominated supervisor.