When is a child ready to learn how to use the potty?

Posted by Care Courses

May 10, 2016 9:00:00 AM


Toilet learning is an important milestone in a child’s life, but a child’s transition out of diapers can be a stressful time for parents and childcare providers. And if handled improperly, this transition period can be damaging to the child.

As childcare providers, it’s important to work with parents to provide a supportive environment in which the child feels comfortable and confident.

To help you understand how to foster that environment, Care Courses offers the course, Toilet Learning. The course discusses when toilet learning should begin, how to prepare the child, effective techniques, and tips for collaborating with parents.

Perhaps the most important step in the toilet learning process is determining if the child is ready to begin. If you start too soon the child may not fully grasp the concepts being presented to him or her and it may make for a more stressful process for both childcare providers, parents, and the child.

Toilet learning should begin when the child

  • Can control bladder and bowel muscles
  • Can recognize the need to urinate or defecate
  • Shows an interest in being dry
  • Knows how to manage his or her own clothing in order to sit on the toilet
  • Shows an interest in using a potty seat or toilet and is willing to begin toilet learning
  • Can give a signal to the caregiver or walk to the bathroom unassisted
  • Can sit on a low potty chair or climb a step-stool to a potty seat attached to an adult toilet unassisted

The most important indication that a child is ready to begin toilet learning is the desire to want to learn to use the toilet. If the desire isn’t present, then it is not time to begin because a child should never be pressured, urged, coaxed or bribed to use the toilet.

Once you have determined that a child is ready, that’s when the real work begins! To learn techniques and tips for creating a smooth transition from diaper to toilet, be sure to check out Toilet Learning on our website.

Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!

Topics: Care Courses Questions

About Care Courses

Care Courses has been providing distance learning courses for early childhood professionals since 1990. Our courses are delivered to you either via US Mail or on your computer, and can be used for the CDA and many state training requirements. We offer over 60 excellent, convenient courses in a wide variety of interesting, helpful topics, and our courses have no time limits. Do them wherever and whenever you wish. Visit our website to access our course listings.

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