Toilet learning is an exciting time for a child and their family. However, it can be a challenge to identify when your child is ready to begin the journey. It’s a gradual process that children initiate, oftentimes earlier than what we, as parents, expect!
Between the ages of 12 and 18 months is the sensitive period for toilet awareness. At this time, your child may begin showing interest and becoming more involved and engaged in conversations about their natural body functions and the diapering process. The shift to toilet learning is typically a focus for children between 18 and 24 months.
Regardless of their age—interest and proficiency in the self-care required for success will vary from child to child. Extreme care must always guide our words and actions to ensure that independent toileting is a positive learning experience. Being able to recognize the signs of readiness can help the process be smoother and less stressful for you and your child.
Toddlers build their brains by moving and developing large and fine motor skills. Consider whether:
Toddlers demand independence! “I want to do it myself!” Consider if:
Waiting until your child is showing signs of readiness on all levels will make the experience less challenging and more enjoyable. After you have established that your child is ready, use these strategies to help your child be successful.
Toileting is a practical life skill but learning the process does take time. Patience and reassurance are key. Be prepared for your child to have accidents along the way. It’s important to keep acknowledging your child’s efforts too. This will encourage them to continue using the toilet.
Keep in mind that every child is unique and learns at their own pace. Don’t get discouraged if your child has some setbacks. Simply continue to provide guidance and support.