Toilet training is a significant milestone in a child’s life. It’s not just about recognizing the signs that your child is ready to use the bathroom independently, but also about choosing the right moment for teaching. A stress-free environment in the family will greatly facilitate your child’s adaptation to using the bathroom.

The Importance of Routine in Toilet Training

For children, following a routine is crucial for stable emotional development. This routine provides them with a sense of security, and it’s essential to maintain it when introducing new changes in their lives, such as toilet training. On an emotional level, it’s also beneficial to pass the ‘denial or no’ stage, where children are more resistant to change, making it more challenging to teach them.

Recognizing Readiness for Toilet Training

Several signs may indicate that your child is ready to start using the bathroom and stop using diapers:

  • They begin to show interest in the toilet or potty.
  • They can understand and follow basic instructions.
  • They feel uncomfortable and alert you if their diaper is dirty or wet.
  • They stay dry for periods of two hours or more during the day.
  • They have a dry diaper when they wake up from their nap.
  • They can lower and raise their pants autonomously.

These signs typically begin to occur when the child is 18 to 24 months old. However, many children may still need diapers until they are 3 years old or more.

Effective Strategies for Toilet Training

Develop an Action Plan

Preparing an action plan is necessary. If your child attends nursery school, is cared for by grandparents or a caregiver, it’s important to coordinate the strategy with them. The method can be radical, replacing the diaper with underwear, which may lead to more leaks and cleaning of accidents; or mixed, alternating diaper hours with hours of underwear, especially during long car journeys, and at night, since night control is usually acquired later than day control.

Wait Until Your Child Is Ready

Your child doesn’t need to meet all the requirements on the list but keep in mind that if you start too early and they are not ready, the training to teach them to go to the bathroom independently will take longer.

Be Patient and Calm with Accidents

Many parents prefer to wait for the summer, as fewer clothes are used and unexpected accidents are less of a hassle. Regardless of the time you have chosen, be patient and never scold your little one for their accidents, as they are involuntary, normal, and part of their training.

Encourage Them Lovingly

Remain calm and lovingly encourage them to use the toilet, keeping in mind that it may take months for them to control toilet training. Remember that it has been a very short time since they have developed their muscles to contain their needs.

Celebrate Their Achievements

The so-called ‘reinforcements’ are the best gift you can give your child when they have managed to pee or poop in the toilet. Your approval and recognition are vital for them to continue their learning process and not give up or suffer a setback.

Embrace the Journey

We hope you successfully navigate this stage with your child. Even if it seems long or difficult, remember that it is a time of growth that will not repeat itself and that passes quickly.  

Conclusion: Embracing the Milestones of Growth

Toilet training is a significant milestone in your child’s life, marking their transition from infancy to toddlerhood. It’s a journey filled with trials and triumphs, accidents, and achievements. As parents, your role is to guide, support, and celebrate each small victory along the way.

Remember, every child is unique and will progress at their own pace. Patience, understanding, and positive reinforcement are key to making this journey a successful and enjoyable experience for both you and your child.

While it may seem challenging at times, these moments are fleeting. So, cherish this special time of growth and learning, as it is a phase that will not repeat itself. Here’s to successful toilet training and the many more exciting milestones to come in your child’s life!

Best free books at Storyberries

Stories About Hygiene

Monday Undies

Ted is a big boy and wears big boy undies! But something goes wrong when the washing happens!

Free to read on Storyberries

Smelly Simha

Simha won’t take a bath and is SMELLY! But some fleas who love to party are about to make him think twice!

Note: This story is not about toilet training but more about hygiene and health.
Bedtime stories Smelly Simha free kids books online header illustration
Unathi and the Dirty Smelly Beast: free story books and bedtime stories page 7

Unathi and the Dirty Smelly Beast

A smelly, dirty beast is following Unathi home!!

Note: This story is not about toilet training but more about hygiene and health.

This article was written by Luzmery M. Romero Gamboa

Luzmery Child Psychologist Storyberries

Luzmery works in the area of clinical psychology as a psychotherapist for children, adolescents and families. Since 2016, she has run a Psychological Center in Venezuela called Psicoluz. She offers workshop facilitations to parents, is involved in recreational activities for children, and has been working as a freelancer since 2017 performing online psychotherapy.