8 tips to help ease those toilet training blues.
Around 18 months of age, your tot will begin to show awareness of the toilet, and its various purposes. She may also understand and start using words like poo, wee and toilet, or squirm and touch her bum (even stopping what she is doing completely) while making a poo in her nappy. It’s key, however, not to rush your toddler into potty training even if she’s displaying these signs – rather wait until the age of 2 to start the process.
Let her accompany you to the toilet from an early age so that she can get used to the idea of using the loo and learn from watching you – this will take the mystery and fear out of this new idea. Always tell her, “Mommy is having a wee,” or similar to explain what you are doing. Invite her to tear off the toilet paper for you, and help you flush once you’re done.
If you have a son, ask your husband to invite him to accompany him to the toilet. This way, he will learn that boys do it differently to girls. Place a piece of toilet paper in the bowl and show him how to aim at the paper. If he prefers to sit down to pass urine, reassure him that it is fine and try to avoid putting pressure on him to do it “the right way”. He will learn to urinate when standing up in time.
Teach your daughter how to wipe herself from front to back, and your son to wait until the drips stop.
Invest in a toilet seat with an inner and a built in step and hand rail. This way, your toddler will be able to sit comfortably on the toilet and will always have her feet on a firm surface as well as having something to hold onto.
If your toddler is younger than 26 months in winter, delay toilet training until the weather improves.
At home, leave the nappy off and remind her frequently about going to the toilet in a relaxed and friendly manner. Be prepared to go with her to the bathroom each time.
Don’t stress about accidents on the floor. She will eventually connect the puddle with the feeling that she needs to go to the toilet and will tell you she needs to go.8
Don’t worry if your toddler still asks for a nappy to make a number two – this is normal, and won’t last forever.