Toilet Training

Thumb Sucking Toilet training for parents is taken as the biggest goal especially if you are new parents. Some kids pick up toilet training within few weeks while for some it takes months. Thus it is advisable that before you begin toilet training you should know the essential basics, the do and don’ts and the easy tips to toilet training.

When to start

The most important question that parents face is when to start toilet training. Most children today are not toilet trained until they are at least 2½ years old. Some don’t start off until they have crossed their third birthday. Thus don’t fret if your child is not toilet trained even if he has crossed 3 years. Age is not that important what you need to find out is whether your child is ready to be toilet trained. It is advisable that parents waited until their children showed certain signs of developmental readiness. This will make toilet training easy, with fewer conflicts and frustrations for both parents and children.

Your child may be ready to start toilet training if he:

  • Has regular, soft, formed bowel movements, at predictable times.
  • Can pull his pants up and down.
  • Is learning to dress and undress himself and tries to do things without help.
  • Imitates others bathroom habits (likes to watch you go to the bathroom, wants to wear underwear, etc.).
  • Is stopping briefly during play to urinate or have a bowel movement. This tells you that your child is becoming aware of his body's signals that it's time to go.
  • Makes a physical demonstration when he's having a bowel movement (grunting, squatting, telling you, etc.).
  • Has words for stool and urine.
  • Can follow simple instructions ("Go get the toy," etc.).
  • Understands the physical signals that mean he has to go to the toilet and can tell you before it happens.
  • Dislikes the feeling of being in a dirty diaper.
  • Has "dry" periods of at least three or four hours (this shows his bladder muscles are developed enough to hold his urine in and store it).
  • Can walk and sit down
  • Is able to sit still on a small chair for three to five minutes while you read or talk to him.

Five-Step Training Procedure

Step One:
Once you have assessed your child’s readiness and you think that he is ready to be toilet trained now it is time to prepare yourself with the right equipments. Choose and buy a child-sized potty or a special seat to attach to your regular toilet. Whichever you choose, make sure your child is comfortable on it and can stabilize himself with his feet so he can push when he's having a bowel movement.

Step Two:
To make him comfortable and get used to the potty make him sit on the potty seat fully clothed once a day — after breakfast, before his bath, or whenever else he's likely to have a bowel movement (BM). If he doesn’t want to sit then don’t force him. If you think that he seems scared then put it away and bring it out again after a few weeks. This routine is to just make him get used to the potty seat therefore you don’t even have to explain to him why he has to poop or pee in the potty.

Step Three:
After you think that he is comfortable sitting on the potty seat without any resistance whatsoever, then try it without the diaper. Again, let him get used to what it feels like to sit there this way. Now is the time when you can start explaining to him that this is what Mommy and Daddy do every day. If he understands and does poop or pee in the potty then its excellent but if he doesn’t then don’t force him. Explain the whole process to him slowly. Show your child where his bowel movements go. The next time when he does it in the diaper, take him to his potty, sit him down, and empty the diaper beneath him into the bowl. This will help him understand that the poop or pee has to go in the potty. After you've emptied his potty into the big toilet, let him flush if he wants to (but don't make him do it if he's scared) so he can see where it goes. Teach him to dress himself and wash his hands when he's done.

Step Four:
If he has got the idea then you have to encourage him to use the potty whenever he feels the urge to go. Also make sure that he can signal you or tell you when he need to use the potty. Also it is time that you introduce training pants — extra-thick cloth or disposable ones — to your routine. While they're less convenient, many parents say the cloth ones work better because your child can really feel it when he pees or poops in them. Introduce them gradually, probably for a few hours at a time and stick with diapers at night for the time being.

Step Five:
When your child seems mostly trained, you can move on to "big kid" underwear. During the training period you will face several accidents. Don’t punish or scold your child for that. Remember that even if he has mastered using the potty during the day time it will take longer to master it at night. Therefore you can continue using diapers at night. If he refuses to wear diapers at night, put a plastic sheet under the cloth ones to minimize your cleanup after accidents. You can help cut down on wet nights by not letting him drink too much before bedtime and telling him that if he does wake up in the middle of the night he can call you to help him get to the potty. Keep his potty near the bed in case he wants to use it.

Do’s and Don’t’s


  • Make sure your child is ready.
  • Prepare yourself. Decide when and how you want to start training. Get the required equipments. Also prepare yourself for the accidents, and ways to keep your child motivated throughout the entire process.
  • Take it slow and be patient with your child.
  • Take your doctor’s advice.
  • Praise your child and encourage him. Celebrate with him when he first gets something into the potty and reward him with plenty of fanfare the first time he stays dry all day.
  • Be patient when your child has accidents. When he make a mess, calmly clean it up and get him into dry clothing.


  • Start at the wrong time. Beginning right before a new baby is due, just after you've moved into a new home, or when anything is disrupting your child's life will only make potty training more difficult.
  • Put on the pressure. Don’t be hard on him and don’t push him to perform. Let your child take his time to get used to this new, complicated process.
  • Punish your child. You have to be supportive and punishing him will only spoil the whole routine.



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