972-645-9400 |

Toilet Training – Get, Set, Go..


Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting

As a pediatrician in practice for 11 years now I feel that patience is the key for parents to be successful in toilet training. As achieving toilet training is an important milestone and kids vary in their areas of development the timeframe for readiness varies. It is evolved in a stepwise manner and it can have setbacks at times. So as I highlighted patience is the key.Parents can start assessing for readiness starting 18 months till 3 years. Most children attain readiness around 2 years and complete the training by 3 years. There are various methods involved and it largely varies with different customs and traditions. After assessing the readiness I would encourage parents to start reading books or show some videos about toilet training and explain that this how the adults poop. If your answers to most of the questions listed in the questionnaire below are yes then you can go ahead and start the training.

Physiological Readiness

Motor Readiness

  •   My child is able to stay dry for at least an hour
  •   My child’s nappy is often dry after a nap
  •  My child is aware of being wet or soiled
  •   My child’s bowel movements are solid and well formed
  •  My child does not have bowel movements through the night
  •  My child has regular bowel movements during the day
  •  My child can sit with or without support
  •   My child can walk with or without help
  •   My child can move independently from one chair to another or participates actively when being moved using appropriate equipment
  •   My child attempts to squat without losing his/her balance.
  •   My child is able to help dress/undress his/herself
  •   My child can open doors independently
  •  My child can manipulate small toys successfully

Cognitive Readiness

Language Readiness

  •  My child searches for his/her toy.
  •  My child imitates me or others
  •  My child plays make-believe
  •  My child can sit and play quietly for about 5 minutes.
  •  My child is aware of when she needs to urinate or have a bowel movement
  •  My child is aware of what a potty/toilet is for.
  • My child understands simple requests like “Where’s Mummy”
  • My child understands/responds to instructions.
  • My child is able to indicate his/her needs using words, signs or gestures.
  • My child has a name/sign for urine and bowel movements
  • My child tells me when she needs to urinate or have a bowel movement.

Social Readiness

Language Readiness

  • My child is showing an interest in using the potty/toilet like other children do
  • My child likes to do things for his/herself.
  • My child is usually eager to please Mummy/Daddy
  • My child is usually happy and contented.
  • I have a potty which is suitable for my child.
  • Have a toilet insert and step which are suitable for my child.
  • My child requires a supportive toilet seat

Next step is to choose the type of potty whether it is going to be seperate potty chair or child seat on toilet (Take precautions to avoid drowning incidents). Let the baby choose what he/she wants.

Start slowly but steadily and make it as a routine whether it happens or not.Create a calm and encouraging environment, don’t push them to make it happen.Expect toilet accidents during training,If that happens don’t punish, give reassurance to the child.

Have a plan for positive reinforcement. Have a reward system in place and buy them their favorite stuff after they finish a row.

Resistance and refusal can occur any time during the training period when kids are upset, when the environment changes (like change of house, birth of new baby, new care giver), be patient stop the training for a while and restart after the baby settles in. These are pretty common in healthy children too.

  • Assessing readiness
  • Choosing the type
  • Starting and making it a routine
  • Consistent encouragement
  • Reward system

So this summarizes my few tips for successful and stress free toilet training in kids. Stay safe, stay healthy and happy parenting.

Find me here


Recent Posts