The right age for toilet training is when the child is ready. Experts say that the best time for toilet training is when a toddler turns two years or older and stress that it should not be forced upon them. Forcing them can have a negative psychological impact. If your toddler cries when sitting on the toilet or seat, the best thing to do would be to get them off it immediately. You can get your toddler to use the toilet by checking them out during daytime when they are two years old and during nighttime when they are 3.5-4 years old. The goal here is to control their behavior. Mothers usually just want to get done with potty training when their babies are 12-18 months old, but firstly a toddler must have enough control over their muscles to feel that they need to go to the toilet. And this can only happen when the toddler is two years old. Even if a toddler with not fully developed muscles feels the call of the nature, they are still not strong enough physically to hold their urine. That is why mothers need to be patient. No four of five year old child wears a diaper unless they have a physical defect.
When is the Best Time?
Each child is unique when it comes to potty training. While some show signs of being ready between 18 and 24 months, for some children this can last up to 30 months.
What Should the Potty Training Look Like?
It is an important day when your child ditches the diaper and starts going to the toilet. Once you are all set, just tell your child that they no longer need the diaper. Tell them at least 2 to 3 days before in advance that they will no longer be wearing a diaper. By saying things like “Tomorrow is an important day. You have come of age, it is time to say goodbye to the diaper; you will be using the toilet just like your mom and dad” on the final day, you can just get your child into the mood. Once your child starts using the toilet, choose simple words they can understand. Encourage them to tell you when they need to use the toilet. And make sure to praise them once they are done, for letting you know. Praise them for every success, demonstrate your pleasure with a smile or a hug, and at times with a small reward. Do not be so quick to use a scolding tone when something goes wrong. This will only make them sad and make your work harder. It is important not to give your child too much liquid, and to avoid excessive activity and make them go to the toilet before bedtime; you could also try taking your child to the toilet at a certain time during the night. For example, it is important to remember to wake up a child, who went to sleep at 9pm, between 12am and 1am for a visit to the toilet and make sure that they are awake.
To avoid future problems keep using diapers for as long as your child wants to have them. When your toddler sees someone their age not wearing a diaper anymore, you will be surprised at how quickly the change of habit occurs. If your child has still not learned to use the toilet by age three, be sure to consult a specialist to find out if there is a physical problem. If there is no physical problem, you may be involved in a power struggle. If they are dragging their feet with using the toilet, try to understand their feelings by asking “what” and “how” questions. Think of ideas for new quiet places where they can occupy themselves playing. Give them a limited number of options to choose from.
How Long Does Potty Training Take?
Not every child is the same. Usually, children first learn to control their bowels. Most children can control their bowels and daytime urine by the age of 3-4 years. To stay dry at night, it can sometimes take several months or even years. Most girls and ¾ of boys can stay dry at night at the age of 5 years. However, bedwetting is a common condition in childhood and the age of control is determined by genetic factors. Before you get mad at your child, ask your mom at what age you managed to stay dry!
Another issue that should be highlighted here is teaching your child hygiene habits along with toilet training. You can teach your child hygiene habits while giving them potty training. Teaching your child to use the toilet should be part of a whole education, such as showing them how to flush the toilet afterwards and wash their hands. There is almost no child who does not like to play with water. If you can harness these interests to your advantage, toilet training can turn into an enjoyable game. Allowing your child to play with soap and water every time they use the toilet encourages them to use the toilet more willingly. Using the right methods and techniques, you will soon see your child using the toilet, like a duck takes to water. It is normal for minor accidents to occur during the course of this training. It should not be overlooked that other physiological and psychological problems may be present in a child who continues to wet themselves, and help should be sought from professionals. If there is an issue, it is extremely important that it is noticed early for the child and their family not to have problems in the future. It is normal for children to have problems with toilet training until they are of primary school age. If things go beyond that, there may be very serious problems there. However, a caring, patient and loving family will have no issues with dealing the problem.
Methods for potty training:
- Once your child gives signals that they are ready, introduce them to the training seat.
- Keep your child seated for short periods of time initially, with their dress on.
- Make sure they wear clothes easy to take on and off.
- Show your child what to do.
- Teach them words that emphasize the toilet.
- Be with them as they go to the toilet and sit next to them.
- After a while, keep your child seated for longer periods of time, with their pants off. (1 min to 10 min)
- Explain the process repeatedly and in simple language and emphasize it by placing wet or dirty cloths on the seat.
- If there is a successful outcome, praise your child, kids like the idea of being a grown up. You could say things like you are a big girl/boy now because you used the toilet.
- If your child has not quite managed it yet, show no signs of anger, and keep your calm. Avoid expressions like “oh you are still a baby”. End the talk saying you are confident they are going to do it next time, and get them out of the bathroom.
- Do not try to push your child too hard, saying you are not going anywhere until they get it done. Don’t show any signs of anger if they piss in their pants. In fact, accept in advance that these accidents can happen all the time.
- Keep your affection for your child and the toilet training separate. Avoid using words that can make your child think otherwise.
- If they get bored sitting on the toilet, take a picture book with you or stay with them and tell some fairy tales they would love to listen to.
- Teach them to self-clean once they are finished. You can initially do the cleaning for them and ask them to repeat it.
- Try to understand your child’s scatological needs (the child-adjusted ‘timing method’), provide positive encouragement for a successful session on the toilet seat (praise, hugs, star charts, stickers, or other rewards that can be given repeatedly and provide an adequate source of motivation)