When is my child ready to start toilet learning?
Toilet learning success hinges on physical and emotional readiness, not a specific age. Children will tell us when they are ready to toilet learn. It is our responsibility to be able to pick up on their cues – remember there is no rush. If you start toilet learning too early, it might take longer for your child to learn.
Readiness is the key
Children must be ready physically (have bladder and bowel capacity and muscle control), cognitively (be fully aware of what they are supposed to do), and they must be ready emotionally to let go of a situation they are used to and comfortable with (urinating and soiling into a nappy whenever they feel like it.)
When a child is ready they will become inquisitive about the process and show you through practicing toileting skills. Listening to these cues will ensure the process is unhurried and stress free.
Parents lay the groundwork for the child’s readiness when, beginning at birth, we make nappy changes an enjoyable, cooperative time together, and respect the baby by slowing down and talking them through each part of the process.
Reading your child’s cues
Being able to recognise the signs of readiness in your child will ensure that it is the child’s choice to start toilet learning. Ensuring they are ready is they key to success.
Try asking yourself these questions to discover how ready your child is to begin toileting:
- Does your child seem interested in the potty or toilet, or in wearing underwear?
- Does your child tell you when he or she needs to go?
- Does your child stay dry for long periods during the day?
- Does your child complain about wet or dirty nappies?
- Can your child sit on and rise from the toilet?
If any of these cues or questions are happening for your child, maybe now is the right time to begin toilet learning.
Toileting here at Star
Here at Star we believe in waiting for the child to show us that they are ready to start toilet learning. This process should be completely child led.
We provide a respectful environment that gives your child the time and support they require as they start toileting.
We will work in partnership with families to ensure toilet learning is consistent and respectful for the child. Once you have committed to the process we believe consistency is best, as not to confuse the child.
Remember accidents are part of learning and should not be discouraged. We wish to build your child’s confidence and accidents are often part of the process. Please bring multiple pairs of underwear, pants, socks and shoes for your child to feel comfortable.
Please feel free to talk to your child’s primary caregiver to see if they are noticing any of your child’s cues while here at Star.
The signs we look for are:
- Children communicating that they have a wet or soiled nappy (asking for a nappy change)
- Children telling us they are going wee’s or poo’s in their nappy, when it’s happening
- Telling us they need to go toilet
- Longer periods of a dry nappy
- Increasing self help skills e.g. able to pull underwear and pants up and down
- Interest in the toilet and the process
Waiting for development of an infant or toddler’s motor skills, toilet learning, language and other preschool learning skills is key. You will then notice a child’s satisfaction, comfort and self-pride when they are able to show you what they are ready to do, rather than the other way around.
Toilet learning is not something we do to a child, or ask the child to do to please us. Using the toilet is something a child wants to do when they are ready. It is a natural process that is best led completely by the child with our support.
– Janet Lansbury
For more information, please contact us.
If you are interested, send us an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!