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Toilet Learning

Toilet learning requires your child to be emotionally and physically ready in themselves and is not about introducing the learning because they have reached a certain age. Look for the cues! Children will show us that they are ready, so it is our responsibility to be able to pick up on their cues. Some signs that can indicate your child might be ready to embark on a toilet learning journey are things like asking to be changed out of their soiled or wet nappy, showing a general interest in the functioning of the toilet – this could include being interested when their parent, caregiver or older sibling is using the toilet themselves, and having longer dry spells in their nappy.

One of the biggest recommendations for toilet learning is only to begin the journey once you have identified that your CHILD is ready. Research now tells us that it will take much longer for a child to master toileting in the long run.

So, if your child has identified that they are ready, below are some tips for embarking on a toilet learning journey with your child. These keep the child at the forefront of this big and new learning and protects their wellbeing.

  • Provide a respectful environment that gives your child the time and support they require as they engage in toilet learning.
  • Once your child has identified as being ready for toilet learning, dedicate some time and allow them to get comfortable with the process at home first. Once they build confidence at home, then toileting outside the home becomes easier for them to navigate.
  • Work in partnership between home and any others who regularly care for your child to ensure toilet learning remains consistent.
  • Take spare underwear, pants, and socks and don’t forget some extra shoes too, so that when you go out your child feels comfortable to continue their learning outside of the home and you are prepared for any accidents.
  • Remember toileting accidents are all part of the process of toilet learning. It is helpful to the process not to comment if an accident or setback occurs, but certainly give plenty of verbal praise for the successes.
  • Prompt your child to use the toilet before going on an outing. Building those good toileting habits and routines through prompts aids children to learn how their body works. Popping a “wet sheet” into the car seat can give extra confidence for out and about too!
  • Checking in with how your child is feeling about their toilet learning can help build their confidence and gives opportunity to overcome any worries together.

Recommendations for Amazing toilet learning resources.

  • “Poo goes home”  this APP can be found on Google Playstore.
  • Youtube – Has great toilet learning rhymes, stories, and songs to play to young children, also many parent workshops are full of advice and encouragement.
  • “The big toilet” book – available from all good book stores – Children love this as it has a “flush” button.
  • Make your child a social story about learning to use the toilet, using their photographs and include the process right up to one of their handwashing. Children are visual learners, and this can create wonderful connecting moments reading their own story together with you.
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