Often parents may wonder when they should be worried about toilet training, when they should seek advice from a professional, and what they can do in the meantime to help toddlers with toileting.
Debbie Evans, founder and clinical director of Sydney’s most sought after children’s therapy service, Therapies for Kids, shares 10 tips for toilet training.
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- Timing is everything. When it’s warmer, having a higher fluid or water intake can help. Ensure you have enough time to devote to your child during the training process. Giving your child a large drink of water about 40 minutes before they visit the toilet can help. Stay with them while reading a book or chatting until they “wee” and then praise them for going to the toilet.
- Praise your child for every progress no matter how small. Use reward charts, sweets, stickers or verbal praise. Even if they don’t complete the entire routine successfully, praise them for the part that they were able to do.
- Verbalise or gesture to your child. ‘Pants down, pants up.’
- Empower your child to communicate with you. ‘Do you need to go?’
- The potty. Start moving it gradually closer to the bathroom or toilet.
- Support your child with toilet training. Dress your child in clothes that are easy for them to pull on and off. Bigger clothes are easier to get off, but encourage even if there is a failure.
- Role play going to the toilet. Use dolls or teddies with your child to live out the toilet training experience so they know that everyone goes to the toilet.
- For kids with movement issues. Put steps under the toilet, use a low toilet if possible, or install a rail for holding onto. Steps can be useful for toddlers and children who can’t walk
- If you are lifting your toddler or non mobile child. Bend your knees, and set up so you don’t twist your back. Assist your child to do as much as possible. If they can hold a rail or assist in the standing, ensure there is enough time so they can plan and you don’t risk injuring yourself!
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