What about toilet training?

The typical questions from parents with regards to toilet training is, “When can I expect my child to be toilet trained?”  My typical response is, “When he/she is ready.”  I know that their are parents who toilet trained their children early but the bottom line is this – children have total control of only two things: what goes into their bodies and what comes out.   There is no set time when a child SHOULD be toilet trained as each child is unique and different but I can almost guarantee that your child will be toilet trained by the time he/she goes to university!

So, how does one encourage one’s child to use the toilet rather than their diapers?Introduce a potty into your home once you think your child will be able to understand what it is for.  I used to remove my children’s diapers and ask them if they wanted to sit on the potty and read a book.  If they made a “deposit” in the potty, I would get really excited and say “Way to go, you went _____ in the potty, just like mommy and daddy go on the toilet!” They would be feeling pretty pleased with themselves after this.  If they didn’t use the potty while sitting on it, that was okay too.  I would let them get off whenever they felt that they had had enough.  I would repeat this exercise several times a day, but I never forced them to sit on the potty.  I used to ask them if they wanted to try the potty again and usually once they had one success, they always wanted more. Of course, I also got a couple of toilet training books that I would read to them as a way of teaching about toilet training. Later I graduated them to a training toilet seat and a step for them to get themselves onto the toilet.  My first child toilet trained herself just after her second birthday but was not dry at night for years. (Thank goodness for pull ups.)  My second child wasn’t toilet trained till three but was dry at night very soon after. Each was very different.  So different that my second used to take the training toilet seat and put it on backward on the toilet and do her business this way. Whatever works!

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