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

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 for pot­ty train­ing, 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.

Signs of readiness

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 for pot­ty train­ing, 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.

Inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about tod­dlers? Check out our blog Why do tod­dlers bite?

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!

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