Toilet training little children can be one of the most challenging tasks for a parent. It is an important self-care skill for the child. Toilet training also gives the child freedom from diaper rashes, frequent urinary tract infections, and also provides a huge relief in the workload of a parent.
The right age to toilet train a child can be between 18 months to 3 years. Muscles that control wee and poo are not developed before the age of 18 months or 2 years. Most parents start toilet training once a child turns two years. In addition to being of the right age one also needs to assess whether the child has developed comprehension skills. Comprehension would mean that when one asks the child to do something, he/she understands the instructions and is equipped to act on it. One also needs to assess how much communication does the child undertake. It is not necessary that the child should be able to speak long sentences but the ability to utter a couple of words and through them communicate their message would be good enough. If all these pre-conditions are met, child is ready to be toilet trained.
What does Toilet Training mean?
Toilet Training is the process of training a child to control bladder and bowel movements and to initiate use of toilet for urination and defecation.A child can be considered completely toilet trained when he communicates on his own the need to use the toilet, is able to manage his/her clothing during the process and understands how to use the flush.
Preconditions for toilet training:
Toilet training process can take 8-10 days. This milestone can be easily achieved in these days if one meets following conditions before starting the process. If parents don’t meet these conditions, the process of toilet training a child can take more time and it would become stressful for the child and the parent as well.
- Warm Weather:
Wet clothes and toilet training go hand in hand. If the weather is not warm enough and the child wets the clothes during the process, he can catch a chill and fall sick. Warm weather ensures that accidents during the toilet training process are not too uncomfortable for the child. Washing and drying of spoiled clothes is much easier for the parent as well.
- No travel plans during that particular time:
At the time of child’s toilet training process, parents should not have any travel plans. During the process parent will be required to take the child to the washroom at regular intervals and keep tab of childs water intake and activity. All these things would be easier if parent is stationed at one place.
- No social engagements:
It is not a good choice to practice toilet training with the child if the parent foresees social engagement for the family during the time. Parents need to regularly communicate with the child during this time, and keep a tab on the movement of the child as well. Accidents happening with guests around can be embarrassing for the child as well. Parents need to completely at ease during the toilet training time so that this important milestone can be achieved without much delay and stress
How to toilet train your child:
I strongly recommend going cold turkey in this process. Piecemeal removal of the diaper at different times of the day makes the entire process lengthy. The day parent decides on toilet training the child, parent needs to keep the child off the diaper at all times. However, for the first couple of days one needs to be fully equipped to handle accidents resulting in wet clothes and slippery floors.
Accidents would be normal . Parent needs to take the child to the wash room after every 45 minutes. Specific words and gestures need to be assigned to pee and poo. Everytime you take the child to the washroom a conversation needs to happen on why one needs to pee in the pot. You need to tell the child assigned words that he should say when he feels the urge to pee/poo. Parent could even act out the process in the washroom to make the child feel that this is something everybody has to do.
Day 2 -Day 10:
Day 2 to Day 10 the process of taking the child to the washroom at regular intervals has to continue even at night. In some time child would understand that something is being expected out of him. Communication with the child has to be regular . However, parent needs to ensure that during the process the child does not feel humiliated and all conversation with the child has to be soft.
Many a times parent would encounter a situation where the child will stand in the washroom for around 20-30 minutes without relieving himself but the moment he comes out, he would suddenly wet the pyjamas. One needs to understand that the whole process is totally new for the child. Every child will come with his/her own nuances in the process. There are many kids who are scared to go in the washroom and many are scared to sit on the pot. Some kids pick up the process in few days while some take their own time to get use to it.
The child tries to hide in a Corner !
Many parents report this behavior during the toilet training process. The child tends to hide in a corner when he has an urge to relieve himself. This typically happens at a stage when the child has started to realize that wetting pyajamas is not the right thing to do. However he does not have a close confidant(parent/guardian) around to confide in about his misdeed or else he does not have right words for communication . It is thereby required for the parent to be around the child during this time to give him comfort.
Patience and persistence on part of the parent will make this process comfortable for the child. Be gentle, warm and loving towards the child .
It is a new world for the child and he has many miles to go. With your support and love, this milestone would be achieved easily.
Stay healthy, and take care.
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