Toilet Mastery – How do I teach my child?

Age 2 is a good time to start

Watch for readiness signs:

  • Child stays dry for as long as 2-3 hours.
  • Child seems to understand the general idea and is able to let you know when he or she has the urge to urinate or have a BM.
  • Child is interested in learning.
  • Child can manage clothing and potty chair.

Delay starting if there are major changes at home, like a move, new baby, or illness.

How to teach:

  • Get a potty chair and explain its use.
  • Use words you want your child to use.
  • Dress your child in easy to manage clothes.
  • Allow your child to practice.
  • Praise any success – never punish

Once started:

  • Don’t expect instant success.
  • Use training pants during the day and diapers at night
  • Give child responsibility, not constant reminders.
  • Wash your hands each time and teach your children to do  the same
  • Expect some accidents – reassure your child.
  • Praise any success – never punish
  • The 2 R’s of toilet mastery:
  • Readiness and Responsibility

Common toilet training problems

Many toddlers go through a phase when toilet training won’t succeed because they don’t want it to. For it to work, your child needs to want to please you and want to take care of himself. It is very important that toilet training is a relaxed and happy time for your child. Praise him for “going potty” Yelling, making him feel bad or having others tease him when he’s had an accident can make toilet training last a very long time.

What should I do about daytime wetting?

If your child 2 1/2- 3 years old and is not toilet trained after several months of trying, he may be trying NOT use toilet. Try the following:

  1. Stop all reminders about using the toilet.
  2. Let the child know that when he is ready to use the toilet again, you’ll be willing to help him.
  3. Give praises, smiles and hugs every time your child uses the toilet. If he has an accident, gently reassure him that everyone has accidents when they are learning to use the toilet.
  4. Give stars or stickers for using the toilet. Keep them on a chart or calendar so your child can see how far he has come.

What should I do about bed wetting?

Bed wetting is a common problem for many young children. They often are very sound sleepers and have small bladders that can’t hold all of the urine made during the night.

  1. Limit the amount of liquids your child drinks after 7 pm, or about 2 hours before bedtime.
  2. Have your child try to use the toilet just before going to bed and as soon as he wakes up.
  3. Use training pants whenever your child sleeps. Also, cover his mattress with a rubber pad.
  4. Praise him when he stays dry.
  5. Respond gently when he does have accidents. Getting angry doesn’t help either of you.
  6. Tell him to use the toilet if he wakes up in the middle of the night. Let him know that he can come and get you if he needs help.