Is my child ready to start toilet training?

Occupational Therapists regularly assist with helping children to become independent in managing their self-care tasks.  Toilet training and making the transition from nappies to using the toilet can be challenging for many children.

toilet training

How do I know my child is ready?

The following behaviours are good indicators that your child is ready to commence toileting training:

  • Stays dry at least 2 hours at a time during the day or is dry after naps
  • Bowel movements become regular and predictable
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Undresses themselves independently
  • Shows discomfort or takes off dirty nappies
  • Is comfortable sitting on the toilet

Once your child is showing the above signs you are ready to start teaching them about the process of going to the toilet.

Top 5 strategies to assist with toilet training:

  • Trace an outline around your child’s body on butcher’s paper. Outline on the diagram what happens in our digestive system, all the way from eating food to it being turned into wees and poos.
  • Use dolls and a doll’s house to role play the process of going to the toilet.
  • Make a homemade story book that includes your child’s favourite fictional character and how they learned to use the toilet.
  • Tom’s Toileting Triumph is short cartoon animation on the ‘Are You Ready’ DVD. It clearly explains the toileting process and how to recognise the sings that they need to go to the toilet. https://service.sa.gov.au/health/1195-are-you-ready-an-animated-toilet-training-resource-dvd.html
  • Incentive systems are really important. Use a sticker chart to reward small steps and work towards a larger prize.kate headshot

-Kate Kleinau, Occupational Therapist


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