Toilet training is teaching your child to recognise his or her body signals for urinating or having a bowel movement and using a potty chair or toilet correctly and at the appropriate times. 

Toilet training your child can be a big issue since it is perceived as a big developmental milestone. But the real problem begins when you start comparing your kids with others. A compassionate and encouraging attitude towards your toddlers will help you and is better than showing frustration or anger.

Read on to learn more about toilet training.

When Will Your Child Be Ready?

The first sign that suggests that your child is ready to toilet train is when he/she starts to call/inform you before/while urinating.

Most babies should be ready by the age of two but some may take time until they turn three. Girl children may be prepared earlier than boys of similar age. Also, control over urine urges comes before the urge to have a bowel movement.

 Other things that can help you understand whether your child is ready or not are:

  • Telling you that his/her nappy is wet.

  • Pulling at wet or dirty nappies.

  • Not wanting to wear nappies any longer.

  • Showing interest in others using the toilet.

How to Toilet Train Your Baby?

You can start the toilet training by:

  • Teaching your child the meaning of words needed to define the need to use the toilet - urine, stool, dry, wet, etc. The use of clear words and using the same words constantly will make it easier for your child.

  • Providing supportive things like a toilet seat (choose what you are comfortable with), a footstool near the seat (so that the baby can climb up), proper lighting in the area, something to hold on to while sitting on the toilet (to make your child feel safe and relaxed.

  • Keeping toilet cleaner, household cleaner, and other toiletries out of the range of your child.

  • Talking to your child about the entire process. If you are comfortable, you can let your child go along with you and tell them all the steps you are performing in the toilet, like cleaning, flushing, etc.

  • Understanding signals that your child is giving, keeping your toilet ready (because your child would not be able to hold on for long), and putting on loose clothes on the child, which can be easily removed.

Tips To Make The Transition Smooth

Here are a few things that might be helpful:

  • Never start toilet training when something new is happening and your child is trying to adapt. Give your child some time to get familiar with stuff in the toilet, so that they are not scared. Encourage and appreciate your child’s behaviour and instances when they tell you in time. Never embarrass or punish your child. It will only worsen the situation.

  • Remember it is a difficult skill to learn for your child and it will take time. The more you support your child, the easier it will be for them.

  • Girls should be taught to wipe front to back to avoid chances of getting the bacteria from the faeces into the vagina and boys should be taught to shake the penis after urination to get rid of any drops.

  • Teach your child to wash hands every time and also assist them in the early stages of cleaning.

  • Toilet training works best when there is no pressure from you on the child.

  • Do not be stressed. If you are stressed out or getting angry on seeing that your child is not learning, it will only pressurise your child. 

Toilet training is not easy and a child needs your support during this difficult phase to learn this new skill. Staying calm and being patient is the key. If your child seems ready for toilet training but is having difficulties, talk to your child's doctor.

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.