Some toddlers are easier to toilet train, others take longer — and this can be extremely frustrating for parents. Not to mention disgusting. Disgusting and frustrating — nothing can really prepare you for that …
But luckily there are ways to prepare your child for toilet training. And the more prepared they are the more likely they are to get it right sooner rather than later (saving you months of frustration and disgust!).
8 things to do before you start toilet training your toddler
1. Help your child to recognise when she is doing a poo or pee
When you see the signs you can ask your toddler “are you doing a pee?” or “are you doing a poo?”. You can actually start this as young as you want.
Some parents do something similar as part of an early toilet training technique called elimination communication.
2. Start using toilet training words …
… and teaching your child to understand and use them. Make sure they are words you are comfortable using (like pee, poo, wee, dry, wet).
3. Decide on potty or toilet
Decide whether you’re going to use a potty or the toilet (with a smaller seat and/or footstool to help you toddler climb up if necessary). A potty is useful because it can be moved around the house. But it can be difficult if your toddler refuses to use a regular toilet when you are out.
4. Let your child watch you …
…or your partner go to the toilet … if this is something you are comfortable with.
5. Make sure your toilet/bathroom is safe
Remove chemicals and hazards from low cupboards and anywhere else your little one can reach. Invest in a sturdy step if you’re child needs on to climb onto the toilet or to wash their hands safely at the sink.
6. Make sure they are ready
Learn how to recognise the signs your toddler is ready for toilet training.
These can include:
- Telling you when they’re about to do (or has already done) a poo or pee
- Is uncomfortable wearing a wet or soiled nappy
- Is interested in the toilet habits of others
- Is able to follow simple instructions
- Is physically capable of using the toilet (can walk to the bathroom and climb onto the toilet or potty)
- Understands the words used in toilet training and can convey them to you
- Can pull down and pull up his own pants
7. Work out a good time to start
Once you’re absolutely (and I can’t stress this enough) sure (like, really sure) your child is ready then schedule a few days where you can stay home and give them your full attention at all times.
The best time to toilet train is when there will be no other major upheavals or distractions. And summer is always easier as there are less clothes to take on and off and they are often easier to remove.
8. Prepare yourself
Toilet training can be an extremely frustrating experience for parents. Make sure you’re in a good place to deal with this possibility.
If you’re struggling with any aspect of toilet training you can chat with other parents in our Toilet Training Forum Section.