How to toilet train a child

For first time parents, the idea of toilet training can conjure up dread and thoughts of it being a difficult process. It can be a daunting prospect at first, however, with the right mindset and being prepared with all the information can bring about of a feeling of ease. Being prepared for toilet training and getting the time right is essential for both the parents and the child.

Here are some toilet training tips for first time parents:

Preparation and timing

It is essential to mentally and physically prepare for toilet training, as it can take time and patience. The child needs to be ready for toilet training for it to be successful. When a child shows signs of readiness and the time is right the transition to toilet training can begin. A child that is aware of their diaper being full, and knowing when they need to go is a good sign that they are ready. Make sure no other major events are already taking place, and that it isn’t a busier time than usual.

Make it a fun time

Children are more compliant and willing to try when an activity is fun. Being relaxed about toilet training reflects in the child and helps them to feel at ease. Prior to toilet training allow the child to pick out underwear at the store, as this is the first step to preparing them for toilet training. In addition, allow them to select a hand wash, as they are more likely to get excited about toilet training if they are involved from the start. Have all the potty training supplies ready to get started.

Calm and casual

Children don’t respond well under pressure, as it makes them feel nervous and uneasy. Be relaxed about toilet training, as this allows the child to have a much calmer outlook and gives them time to adjust to transitioning to toilet training. Let the child decide when they need to go potty, as this makes them feel independent, and gets them to understand when they need to go. In addition, inform them when you are going to the toilet, as they are likely to want to try too. Giving the child control can make them more determined.

Praise and positive reinforcement

Being positive in approach is important, to give the child confidence and encouragement. Be positive from the offset and have an upbeat attitude for the child to follow suit. When they sit on the potty give praise and inform the child how proud you are. If they don’t go potty, just say “that’s okay, we can try again later”, as this gives them reassurance and encourages them to continue trying. The first time the child goes successfully on the potty acknowledge it with high praise, as children aim to please.

Be ready for accidents

Be matter-of-fact about accidents, as showing any signs of frustration can deter a child and make them feel incompetent. When an accident occurs, don’t make it an issue, calmly clean up and get the child to get washed and changed. Remaining calm allows the child’s self-esteem to stay intact, and it gives them the confidence to try again. If accidents are frequent, maybe the child just isn’t ready yet, which is nothing to worry about, just try again in a few weeks.

It is imperative to let the child take the lead when they are good and ready. Acknowledge their effort and give high praise for success. Gently encourage and guide the child whilst allowing them to be independent. This is a big step for children, where mistakes are inevitable. Be calm and patient and give gentle reminders about going potty. When the child has successfully gone potty, give high praise. If setbacks occur, don’t worry, just continue the training process. It can take children a while to become fully potty trained.