Tips for Toilet Learning
Toilet learning can often feel daunting for both parents and children. To help, we have collected our favorite practical tips to support you through this important part of childhood development!
We always support using the phrase "toilet learning" over "toilet training." Adapting to the toilet is a big learning opportunity, alongside other milestones like walking, eating and reading. By using the word "learning," we are empowering our tiny peers rather than assuming they are incapable. Also, while we are using the word "parent," these ideas are for any caregiver in a child's life. Let's get into it!
1. Assess Readiness
Has your child stated they wish to use the toilet? Do they comment on others using the toilet? Do they follow their peers or parents into the bathroom? Do you notice long periods of time with a dry diaper? These are all signs that your tiny peer is expressing interest in their next big step. If these cues are clear, begin to inform your tiny peer about the process. It is important that everyone has an understanding of what is going to happen!
2. Prepare Your Environment
There are a few ways to make sure the bathroom is suited for your tiny peer's learning. If available, use a child-sized toilet or an insert you can place on the toilet to fit their body. Make sure you have the step stools, soap and towels appropriate for their size and comfort level. Pick out clothes that enable, not hinder - leaving out zippers and tough buttons. Using the proper tools creates a more seamless path for successful learning.
3. Create a Routine
Set a few routine times you and your tiny peer are always going to visit the toilet. After breakfast, before a nap, before bedtime, etc. are good times to try. Additionally, it is helpful to remind your child they can always use the toilet throughout the day. Look for physical cues and help them notice what their body is telling them.
4. Be Patient and Positive
It is natural that you or your tiny peer can become frustrated. Toilet learning takes time and consistent effort, and it may not always feel like forward progress. Be kind to yourselves and remember, there is no such thing as a setback during this process!