Toilet Training – Are they ready?

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Toilet Training is one of those milestones that causes stress for most parents, especially with more and more pre school services expecting them to be independent regardless of age. A lot of parents are feeling the pressure to train and not sure whether their child is actually ready.

If you are not feeling this pressure then my personal attitude is wait, wait and wait some more. You can only start potty training too early there’s no such thing as too late. Don’t be pushed by Granny or by neighbour Janet most importantly even after reading my advice go with your gut. You know your child best.

Readiness checks;

-Age; 2.5 years is the youngest I would start training. (I personally don’t believe the language or comprehension is there for it to go smoothly but judge each child individually as they are all different)

-Understanding; Do they understand why you go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet?

Do they tell/signal you when they have done a wee or a poo in their nappy?

Do they say/signal when they have to go?

FYI – Asking them these questions and them saying yes to a loaded question is not the same as them communicating it in some way.

N.B. Do they know the difference between wet and dry? Not just underpants or nappy. Do they understand when something/anything is wet in comparison to something that is dry!

*If your child has a speech delay try “show me” the wet/dry rather than expecting language in response. Use visuals and look for an action, point and/or gesture.

-Language: Do they have the vocabulary to be successful. Do they understand all the words you are going to be using and equally are they able to functionally use the words you’re expecting them to understand .

*If your child is nonverbal or there’s a possible speech delay again I would assess using visuals like pictures of the bathroom, potty, poo, underpants and sitting on toilet/potty and then ask “show me”. This can also be used and helpful in pre-training and prep.

-Curiosity; Are they in any way interested in the toilet, potty or nappies.

Are they intrigued by the process when you do it?

Do they want to get involved? Do they dislike their nappy?

Do they want to be a big boy/girl?

I would not expect every child to have all of these but if in doubt these are things to check and to think about teaching. They are the checks I’d recommend in supporting that gut feeling you already have!

Enjoy Dee x

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