. Toilet Training | Behaviour | Toddlers and Preschoolers | A Parent or Caregiver | Manitoba Parent Zone | Healthy Child Manitoba
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Toddlers and Preschoolers - Behaviour

Toilet Training

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You may feel pressured to begin toilet training your toddler. There is no magic age to begin this process; normally children are ready to begin training between two and four years old. It is important to wait until your child is ready to begin training.

There are things that your child should be able to do before you begin toilet training. If your child's diaper is dry for a few hours in between changing, she might be ready to begin toilet training. Your child must be able to walk and sit on the potty chair unassisted. Also, she must be able to understand simple directions and be able to let you know when she needs to go to the bathroom or has just gone to the bathroom.

There are also things we as parents need to be able to do before training. You should decide what words you will use to explain using the toilet to your child. It is also a good idea to let your child see you use the toilet. Talk about what you are doing and encourage your child to look, sit on, and touch her own potty chair. You can also find books, songs or rhymes about using the potty chair to share with your child. If your child has special needs, it is important to speak to your medical practitioner before you begin toilet training.

Setting a routine will help your child understand toilet training. It is a good idea to first have your child sit on the potty chair fully clothed and then have her sit on the potty chair having first removed her diaper. Ask your child to sit on the potty at the same time every day (before and after a nap or bedtime or after a meal). Praise her when she sits on the potty by telling her she is doing a very good job. Even if she doesn't use the potty, encouraging her with your words will let her know you are proud of her and she will continue to try.

Toilet training takes months and even after children are able to use the toilet during the day they will likely still need to wear a diaper during naps or bedtime. Always keep an extra set of clothing with you and do not get angry with your child if he has an accident. Accidents will happen and it is important to keep the toilet training experience positive.