A timely start can be made by always changing a young toddler in the toilet/bathroom, with a “no fuss” approach. Sitting a toddler on a potty for 1-2 minutes at each nappy change time is recommended from the time a child learns to walk.
It is believed that delays and/or difficulties with toilet-training can contribute to bladder and/or bowel problems that many older children experience. Delay with starting toilet-training is common today, but not always helpful. The ongoing use of disposable nappies/pullups when a pre-schooler is aware of their bladder and bowel function is a likely recipe for problems down the track with toilet-training. When nappies/pullups are not removed in a timely manner they can become “portable toilets” from a child’s view-point.
Some children learn toilet skills quite quickly, while others can be hesitant and take much longer. Patience is required. Children will learn more quickly when learning the skills of toileting is fun and everyone involved in caring for them approaches toilet-training the same way. Picture story books, role playing with a favourite doll/teddy and simple rewards all can help to make the process enjoyable.
However sometimes all does not go according to plan, and toilet-training can become a source of stress for children and their parents. If this happens take a short break of a few weeks or months, then try again. Many parents who experience difficulties with toilet-training their child feel isolated. Seeking help from a health care professional for further guidance with toilet-training can shed fresh light on the subject and renew a child’s enthusiasm to learn.
This article was written by Elaine Sutton of Conquip Continence Service. Some of Elaine’s qualifications include: GradDipAdvNsg, Div 1 Reg Nurse, MRCNA and Certificate in Continence Promotion. Elaine is a mother of three and Grandmother to 5 all in primary and preschool years. Elaine works with children and their parents to assist with toilet training and night wetting.