One of the most intimidating tasks for new parents to tackle is helping children use the potty. This isn’t the most glamorous part of parenting, but it is certainly essential.
However it doesn’t have to be overly stressful either. It can be an exciting experience for both you and your child, and by staying relaxed, you’ll ensure toilet training your child goes smoothly
It’s important to wait before you start toilet training your child. With our first child, we started way too early. We were less optimistic with our second child.
Like most parents, we begun toilet training when our first child was around 2 years old. We had heard from other parents that they started at 18 months, which we though was far too young.
Even 2 years old proved to be too young for our first child. What we have learned from parenting is that there is no actual age when a child ‘should’ be ready to use the toilet.
All you can do is look for signs that they know they are recognizing that they are feeling uncomfortable and may need to use the toilet, instead of letting things flow naturally.
So, when should you start toilet training your kids?
Although every child is different, we recommend letting your child make the first move. This may mean waiting until they are 3 years old.
We had heard that boys are usually ready to use the toilet before girls, however this was not true in our case.
With our first child, we practiced holding them over the toilet whenever they needed to use it. However, this was exhausting for several reasons.
Firstly, we always had to ask when they needed to use the toilet, and often they didn’t know.
Secondly, we still had to use diapers so it wasn’t saving us any money.
And thirdly, it took a lot of physical strength to hold our child over the toilet. The toilet is huge compared to a little child, and we were scared they were going to fall in!
We were smarter with our second child. We bought all the gear – potty seat, kids toilet tissue, you name it, we had it.
Although I can’t say when your children will be ready, what I can do is share my experience and what I have learned from all these years of parenting.
I’ve learned that the key to success is time and patience. Expect accidents and don’t be annoyed at your child for not understanding it.
It will be embarrassing. It will be stressful. You will get angry and annoyed. But that is parenting, isn’t it? It’s better to just accept this than to let it consume you!