Toileting training readiness varies for all children, and there is no one size fits all approach to this (as much as parents sometimes wish there was one!). Signs your child may be ready to begin toilet training can start anytime from around 18 months old. These may include having a dry nappy for two hours or longer, pulling their pants up and down easily, showing interest in going to the toilet and acknowledging when they need to or have already gone to the toilet.
At Genius childcare, we support families during the toilet training transition; the family always guides us on the routine established at home and we work to replicate this in centre. Educators are there to maintain the toilet training regime and provide a supportive and encouraging environment for all children to transition into this stage of development.
Toilet training can take days, weeks or months and varies for each child. We encourage families to begin this transition with no significant events on for the family so you can focus on this new routine and change for your child. Let's take a look at some signs your child may be ready to toilet train, how to go about it and how Genius educators can assist during this process.
Signs your child is ready
You may see signs your child is ready to toilet train as early as 18 months old, for other children, this may be closer to three years old. It may be time to toilet train your child if you see some of the following signs:
- Your child asks for their nappy to be changed
- Hiding when using their nappy
- When your child is comfortably walking and can confidently sit
- When your child becomes more independent and makes their own choices, lots of 'no.'
- If they have a dry nappy for two hours or longer
- They may be interested in watching others go to the toilet or ask questions about the toilet
- Your child may pull their nappy off or don’t like wearing a nappy anymore
- Your child can follow simple instructions like "give your cup to mummy."
You do not need to see all of these signs to begin toilet training your child, but it may be time if you notice some of them coming together.
Preparing for Toilet Training
When you plan to toilet train your child, you must be prepared. Some routines and equipment can help with this transition and create a positive passage into this new phase.
You may choose for your child to use a potty, toilet, or both. The advantage of a potty is it can be moved around and put in a space where your child is most comfortable. If choosing to use the toilet, ensure you have a non-slip stool in front of the toilet or an over toilet training seat with handles and steps for ease of use.
To encourage your child to begin toilet training, you may choose to use a reward system or buy some fun underwear that they can be excited about wearing. Encouragement is crucial, and praising your child after they go will only make this journey easier.
It may help your child to be out of a nappy during toilet training. If you’re not ready to move to underwear straight away (and deal with the potential messes!) use either pull-ups or absorbent training pants, which shows the child that something is different and they are ready to use the toilet. Pull-ups are more absorbent than training pants and are very convenient when you are out and about.
Training pants are less absorbent than pull-ups and more suited for when you are home as they are plastic lined cloth pants. Both pull-ups and training pants teach children how to pull their underwear up and down when using the toilet. While toilet training it's best to dress your child in clothes that are easy to take on and off ie: dresses and shorts instead of overalls.
Support From Genius
At Genius, we believe learning to use the toilet or potty is of course essential in a child's development and an exciting step for the child and family alike. We like to work closely with families to establish a positive and structured toilet training routine, and let the family and child guide us. We believe in positive reinforcement and encouragement to ensure this stage is seamless, comfortable and a happy time for everyone. We encourage open communication with families, and we have an open-door policy that we believe aids success in developmental stages such as these.
When you begin the toilet training journey with your little learner, remember that no one size fits all. All children vary when they are ready and how long this process takes, and there is no judgement about having a child that wants to take this step a little later than others.
The most important thing is that you communicate with anyone that looks after your child, letting them know you are ready to take this next step and would appreciate their support and positive encouragement. As always, chat to your educator team at Genius if you’d like any further guidance in this area!