So you read this checklist and thought to yourself, “Hey! My child does these things. I think they’re ready to start toilet training. What should I do?” The good news is that for the last several months your child has been toilet learning. The bad news? There is no bad news!
Here’s what I recommend you do next:
1. Encourage Independence & Set Your Toddler Up for Success
Create a space in the most conveniently located bathroom in your home that is toddler friendly. When your child starts to make the connection between the signals their body is giving them ( a full bladder for example) you want to make it easy for them to get to the bathroom. I highly recommend you have your child wear clothing that is easy for them to take on and off. It can be very frustrating for a toddler that makes it to the bathroom in time to use the potty only to have their efforts thwarted by a difficult closure on their pants. Elastic waistbands are your friend during this time. You also want a space that promotes their independence. Check out the picture below.
2. Establish a Routine
Make using the potty a normal part of the day. An easy guideline: Have your child use the potty before and after waking and after mealtime. Depending on the flow of your day you may consider having them sit on the potty before and after going outside. You may feel that you are spending an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom. You probably are. That’s okay! Your child is learning a new skill that happens to take place in the bathroom.
3. Be Consistent. Be Kind.
Toddlers are very sensitive to order and thrive on routine and consistency. Your ability to provide consistency for them is a gift that should not be underestimated. Depending on your personality type combined with your level of stress and tolerance for messes you may need this reminder: Be patient. Your child is learning a new skill. Some children have more accidents than others. That’s okay. Don’t compare your child to what other children are doing. With every accident and/or mistake they are getting one step closer to mastering their ability to use the potty.
Next week I’ll give you a more in-depth tour of a toddler friendly bathroom along with a list of things you’ll need to create one in your home. In the meantime, help yourself to the Toddler Tuesday page for more toddler-related reading.
As always, thanks for reading and have a Joyful Day!