Is My Child Ready to Begin Toilet Training?

There's so many memories that you'll cherish when it comes to raising your child. Often toilet training is not one of them. Many parents are not the least bit sentimental about changing their child's nappy and transitioning to underpants. Toilet training is an important time in each child's life and the amount of time that it takes may vary from child to child. Some toddlers learn this new skill quickly, while others need more support.

Like most important lessons early childhood, it is best to begin when your toddler is already showing an interest in using the toilet. Multiple studies have shown that beginning the toilet training process before he or she is ready only extends the process longer than necessary. To determine whether or not your child is ready, take a look at this developmental checklist and compare to the traits you can identify in your own child.

Physical Development

  • Able to walk, or even run, without the risk of falling.
  • Dry nappies for extended periods of time, or during naps showing bladder muscles are well developed.
  • Urinates a larger amount of urine at one time.
  • Bowel movements should be well-formed and relatively predictable.

Behavioural Development

  • Dislikes wearing a soiled nappy
  • Able to physically or verbally communicate that he or she is experiencing a bowel movement.
  • Cooperative when offered the opportunity to sit on the toilet
  • Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes.
  • Can pull pants up and down.
  • Showing interest in his or her parents' bathroom habits
  • Wants to wear underwear instead of nappies
  • Demonstrates a desire for independence.
  • Takes pride in his accomplishments.

Cognitive Development

  • Recognises the physical signs that are associated with bowel movements and communicate this to you before it happens. 
  • Able to understand and follow simply commands. 
  • Able to understand urine and stool belong in the toilet.

Just like anything else, the more your child uses the toilet the easier it will become. Toilet training might take days or months. It’s not a race. The key is to not push your child. Relax and let him or her learn at his or her own pace. Use gentle encouragement with reminders and stories. What your child wants most is to please you, and praising him or her will provide positive reinforcement.

N.B. This article is an exert from the 'Steps to Toilet Training Success' ebook. For the Complete Guide please see below.

Don’t forget - Make Toilet Training Fun!

Download Your FREE Parent Guide: Steps to Toilet Training Success. Created by early childhood experts, this guide will help you to identify whether your child is ready to begin toilet training, and the essential steps to toddler toilet training success.




Tony Barton
Tony Barton

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