Out of nappies and starting to toilet train can appear daunting, but rest assured all kids go through it eventually. There is no firm age that your child should start to make the transition from nappies to training pants. Rather, you should let your child’s behaviour and interest in toilet training be your guide.
It is impossible to set an exact age to start toilet training. Some children are ready at 18 months, some not until two years or older.
Whether early or late, you’ll notice that a number of trends begin to come together. Your child will be over the excitement of learning to walk and will be able to sit still for a while. When “No” isn’t the answer to every question, they’re actually willing to co-operate now and then. That’s when to start looking for the signs of readiness.
Signs of readiness
If three or more of the signs listed below are clearly present, it’s probably time to start toilet training.
• Your child can stay dry for two hours at a time during the day or is dry after a nap.
• Your child’s poos are regular and predictable.
• Your child can indicate by words, facial expressions or posture that he is about to wee or poo.
• Your child can follow simple verbal directions.
• Your child is uncomfortable with soiled nappies and wants them changed.
• Your child can be taught to pull pants on and off.
• Your child asks to use the toilet or the potty.
• Your child asks to wear ‘big kid’ toilet training pants or underwear.
Potty or toilet seat
When it comes to using the toilet, many toddlers prefer to start small. Potty chairs are great for most kids, but a potty seat for the big toilet can work with a little assistance and a step stool. Give your child some ownership in the ‘new potty’ – wrap it up as a present, personalise it or decorate it with stickers!
Rewards and praise can work wonders. Find what motivates your child – a favourite treat, small prizes, a fun reward chart, a phone
call to a grandparent, and of course lots of cheering, high-fives and hugs. Different levels of rewards are appropriate for different levels of success. If a reward no longer motivates your child, try a new one to help keep interest high.
Toilet training books and videos are a great way to introduce your child to toilet training and help him stay interested. Or, you could
personalise your very own toilet training storybook and share it together.
Toilet training pants
Pull-up toilet training pants are a great way to encourage your child’s independence. With underwear-like designs it helps motivate him to stay dry just like older kids. It’s best to use training pants consistently as switching between nappies and training pants can be confusing and may mean slow progress.