Let me first start by saying that when your child starts using the toilet your life is going to revolve around using the bathroom. There will be lots of talk about poop and pee. There may be days where it seems that all you do is clean up accidents. Of course, you may have a child that masters using the toilet in 2-3 days. These children do exist (I’ve seen it first hand). Realistically speaking and more often than not, however, children that are toilet learning will need more time.
Once your child starts showing interest in toilet activities you should provide a toddler friendly environment in the most conveniently located bathroom in your home.
These are the items I suggest you have within reach of your toddler:
- Potty (small and sits on the floor) and/or
- Child-sized toilet seat (This seat fits on top of your existing toilet. In our classroom I have both options (potty and toilet seat) available so that each child has a choice. Children new to toileting usually prefer the floor potty.)
- Small step stool in front of the toilet (see picture below)
- Basket with change(s) of clothes
- Diapers and/or underwear (remember: Once your child starts wearing underwear you do not want them to go back into diapers. The exception is during sleep times.)
- Stool in front of the sink so they can learn to wash their hands independently
Friendly reminders from Ms. Whitney:
- The toilet is not a toy. Flushing the toilet is a privilege for those who have peed and/or pooped in the potty. One flush is enough.
- Make sure your child is wearing clothes that are easy to take on and off independently. Pants with challenging closures can thwart your toddler’s attempt at making it to the potty in time.
- Accidents happen. If you child is wearing underwear and has an accident state the obvious (“I see that you are wet. Let’s go into the bathroom so you can change your clothes.”).
- I would not recommend asking your child if they need to go potty. Chances are they will say no. Don’t give them that option. Instead say cheerfully, “It’s time to use the potty.” If they resist you may tell them that they are not able to participate in the next activity until they do so. Example, “We are not able to have lunch until you use the potty.” This doesn’t mean they have to pee in the potty before they get lunch. In the beginning you want them to get comfortable sitting on the potty for more than 2 seconds. You want them to get acclimated to the routine of using the potty.
Pro Tip: Once your child is old enough to stand up on their own it’s time to start changing their diaper while they’re standing. If they have pooped: Do yourself a favor and give them something to hold with BOTH hands so they don’t put their hands in their poop. If you forget, that’s okay! If it happens once you’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again. 🙂
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of this Toddler Tuesday post.
Thank you ever so much for reading and have a Joyful day!