Here, I would like to share a few pointers that may help you kick start your kid’s toilet training without stressing him/her or yourself out!
1. Do not feel pressured to toilet train your child just because there are other younger tots who are able to do so! If you give your child too much pressure, he/she may become more resistant to toilet training. There are cases where children who became so afraid of accidents – soiling themselves that they start to hold their pee and poo till they suffer from UTI (urinary tract infection) or constipation. Take a trial and wait approach.
2. Start by giving names to the deed! Be it pee pee, poo poo or passing urine, passing poo… just remember to give a name that you won’t feel embarrassed about when your kid start shouting “mummy! I need to xxxx” and of course preferably one that can be easily recognised by other caregivers! You would want the teachers to know what your kid is saying!
3. Pull up pants will be a good start! If your kid goes to childcare, they would request for pull up pants. If your kid stays home with other care givers, you might want to start pull up pants around 2 – 2.5 years old. So they can practise pulling up and down the diaper. It will help them transit to wearing underwear later on.
4. Start with identifying poo cues! Somehow as parents, you will start to spot their funny cute behaviour. Small E likes to stand at his toy corner, pretending to play his toys! So once you spot the cue, pick him/her up and ask if they are going to pass motion (in your language) and bring them to the toilet immediately. They will start to relate the sensation to the word to the process to the outcome I.e poo in toilet bowl
5. Do not doubt your kid when they start telling you that they need to pee / poo! You may have cases of false alarm but it will be helpful to be encouraging. Remember they are just so young and starting to understand how their body work. They might not know exactly how soon the pee / poo is going to come when they feel the sensation. Let them practise, practise, practise…
6. Avoid over reacting at all costs when accident does happen! Kids have feeling and ego too. They do not enjoy the accident and they may even feel ashamed. So be positive and assure them it is okay but they could try to inform you earlier. It can be frustrating but keep your cool. If the accidents are too frequent, put them back on diapers and start the process again at a later stage.
7. Avoid asking them to just do their business in the diaper (unless you really have no other choice) once they start telling you they need to go to the toilet or when you put them diaper-free trials. It will confuse them. For Big E, the diaper became an emergency toilet in the car. When we are not able to make any stops and she is screaming “my pee pee is coming out!”, we will get her to quickly put on her pull up pants. It is really better than wetting the car right? 😛
8. Just make it as normal as possible. Avoid relating this development to them being all grown-up or it’s a “shame shame” to be still in diapers. Successful toilet training starts from self-confidence.
Good luck for your kid’s toilet training! Do share with me if you have other great tips! I still have Small E to train (not sure if girls and boys are the same…)
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