When to Start Toilet Learning

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>> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies <<

Every toddler develops at their own pace, and it’s most important to take accurate toilet readiness cues from them. Typically, girls tend to be ready for toilet learning before boys, however with either gender; parents should resist the urge to introduce their child to toilet learning if the child is not ready. Major signs that your child is not ready include their outright resistance or avoidance of the toilet, their being stressed-out or crying about it, or if they adamantly prefer to eliminate into a diaper/pull-up, rather than the toilet.

When toddlers are developmentally ready for toilet learning they will give you certain signs or cues. They begin to be interested in putting things away where they belong, they start naming body parts and develop the ability to pull down their own pants and pull them back up. They may begin to pretend-play using the toilet with toys. You may notice that their diaper is dry in the morning or they may be going a longer time during the day without soiling themselves, meaning that they are able to hold their bladder rather then letting it dribble. Another sign of toilet readiness is when your toddler begins to show regularity in their bowel movements or when they know they have to go to the washroom and can verbally communicate having to use the toilet to you. They maydemonstrate a more obvious interest in the toilet, verbally asking questions or through actions such as imitation, flushing the toilet and touching the toilet paper. They may begin to verbally communicate with an adult that they are uncomfortable in their dirty diaper, or even ask to have their diapers changed.

If your toddler is demonstrating these cues, or similar signs, then this is the time to start thinking about toilet learning. Remember to be patient and consistent. Toilet learning takes time, as you wait in the washroom while your toddler sits on the toilet and you both wait for them to use the toilet.

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