It is hard to believe how fast your child grows up as you reminisce about her first smile, first sounds, crawling and first steps! Now it is time to toilet train her. However, to be able to start her toilet training, she must have completed physical and mental development processes that she will draw on during her training. Even if your child has started to understand the concept of using the toilet, she may not yet be able to hold back until she reaches her potty due to the fact that her physical development to accomplish this/her may not have been completed yet. She needs you to be as affectionate and caring as when you change her diaper.
While some children can start their toilet/potty training when they are only one-and-a-half, others may need to wait until they turn 3 and sometimes 4. Boys may show a tendency to start their toilet/potty training later than girls. Again, some toddlers can complete potty training in just a few days, while for others, this/her process could extend over a period of 1 year, or even longer.
This/her does not necessarily mean your child’s development is ahead or behind the others. Don’t forget; each child develops at his/her or her own pace. Do not compare her with other children and always remind her that she is her own person. Support her in her journey to growing up in the way she chooses to do so.
Timing is very important in toilet training. When it is your child who is concerned, do not try to rush the issue. Do not force your child to do something that she is not ready for.
Most toddlers complete their toilet/potty training within a period of 3-6 months if it is started at the right time. How to decide when is the right time? Observe the signs pointing to the readiness of your child for potty/toilet training, and when you are sure, take immediate action.
If your child is ready for toilet training:
• She can hold her pee and stay dry for periods longer than 2 hours. She will also be aware of the physical signs of her need to use the potty.
• She will stay dry during her afternoon nap.
• She will feel uncomfortable when her diaper is wet.
• She wants to use the toilet or the potty.
• She wants to put on underwear.
• Can understand and follow simple instructions.
If your child displays at least two of the foregoing signs you can get ready to start the training process. If your child likes her independence or wants to copy your bathing habits, you may feel inclined to start her toilet training.
In toilet training her, you must choose the most natural and stress free method possible. Display a calm and positive attitude and encourage your child to use either the toilet or the potty. You can go potty shopping together and leave the choice to her, let her play with a potty that hasn’t been used yet and even attempt playacting with her toys using her potty. Subsequently you can ask her whether she would like to sit on the potty and help her try it out.
Role models could help children overcome their fears of the unknown. Let your child accompany you when you use the facilities. She will gain experience as she observes you.
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