26 March 2018

Pointers for easier potty training

Incorrect toilet training can lead to problems ranging from bed-wetting and daytime accidents to urinary tract infections.

Are you frustrated with the way your toddler's toilet training is going?

First, keep in mind that the average age for potty training is between two and three years old. While there's no link between how young toddlers master the toilet and their intelligence, they do need to be physically, emotionally and mentally ready.

(This is however a western approach, and according to a previous Health24 article, in countries like Vietnam the need for nappies is usually eliminated by nine months of age)

Correct training

Some cognitive developments – such as memory, focus and even imagination – may not begin until two-and-a-half years of age. Verbal skills, needed to communicate any potty problems to mom and dad, may not develop until age three.

It is very important that the correct process be followed because toilet training children incorrectly can lead to problems ranging from bed-wetting and daytime accidents to urinary tract infections, according to experts.

Here are some potty pointers:

  • Build on your child's desire for approval and the natural urge to imitate. The same-sex parent can show how to use the bathroom by example.
  • Be positive and praise progress, but don't yell or punish mishaps.
  • Be consistent with bathroom routines, including how to wipe and how to wash hands.
  • Adjust your role as needed. Be there to resolve problems, but you may need to be less controlling.
  • Stay low-key. Your child will pick up on any stress you feel.

Once in preschool, many kids will be motivated by peer pressure and the desire to wear regular underpants. Toilet training tends to become more self-directed, with less effort from you. So, experts suggest making it more your child's project and less your own as they get older.

Once your toddler is ready, the actual learning process takes about six weeks, but expect accidents and even some steps backwards. It's also normal to take longer for kids to be able to stay dry throughout the night.

Image credit: iStock