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Toilet training

PostPosted: Sun 23 Jan, 2011 9:39 pm
by NeedSomeHelp
Hi there. My little boy turned two 6 weeks ago and I want to start toilet training him. He is not really showing any signs that he is keen, but all of my friends kids have trained and I am feeling pressure to get him done. I have started trying to put him on the toilet every half hour, we have had one wee in the toilet but now he is chucking a wobbly every time I try to put him on the toilet and running away. What should I do?

Re: Toilet training

PostPosted: Wed 26 Jan, 2011 1:54 pm
by NgalaOnline
Hi NeedSomeHelp

It is common for parents to feel pressure from others that they should toilet train their child, or to feel anxious if there child is taking longer to toilet train than there peers. You can be reassured that there is a huge variation in the time at which toddlers achieve toilet independence, and this does not have any bearing on their intelligence or any other aspect of their personality. Most children toilet train anywhere between eighteen months and three years of age, although it is still common for children to not have achieved toilet independence beyond the age of three.

Parents often find that toilet training goes smoother and is quicker if it is commenced once the toddler begins showing interest in toileting and signs of readiness. These signs of readiness include the ability to hold the bladder for one to two hours, the ability to remove simple items of clothing, the ability to recognise the feeling of a full bladder or bowel, and the ability to sit still for short periods of time. Showing interest in sitting on the toilet or copying others behaviours, and showing discomfort when wet or soiled are also signs of readiness. Some parents find toilet training easiest in warm weather and when they can spend a reasonable amount of time at home.

If your child is not showing much interest at the moment, whilst you wait for his interest to peak you may like to show him books or DVDs about using the toilet, and allow him to observe yourself using the toilet. You could also spend some time with him not wearing a nappy and help him to label what has happened if you see him pass a motion "Oh Joe, you did a wee" so he becomes familiar with these sensations and the name for them.

Toddlers are driven to try to be independent and autonomous and to assert their own desires and opinions. They also like to be in control of aspects of their lives and can quickly realise that toileting is one of few areas that they have full control over. For these reasons it is best to avoid conflict or putting a lot of (positive or negative) pressure on the child to toilet. Conflict over the issue can result in the child feeling ashamed, and having a lot of pressure (even positive pressure such as excessive praising, encouragements or bribes) can increase a child's anxiety regarding the topic or make him more determined to stand his groun about the matter. For this reason, if your child is actively resisting being placed on the toilet and is becoming upset by this, it would be better to take a step back and wait for a few weeks. You can then gently encourage your child to sit on the potty whilst you read to him or make the experience positive for him, and see if he is ready to happily and willingly participate in the proceedings.

You may find the Ngala Toilet Training tip sheet useful: ... nce-Guides