Knowing when your toddler is ready for toilet training can be challenging. You might not know what signs will tell you exactly how they’re feeling and when they want to transition from using nappies to using the toilet. First off, you should have an understanding of the difference between your toddler being toilet aware and being toilet ready.
What is ‘toilet aware’?
When your toddler is simply toilet ‘aware’, it means they know when they have done a wee or poo and know that the toilet exists.
A lot of parents often think that there child is ready to toilet train, simply because they have show interest in the toilet or what’s going on in their nappy.
Toilet readiness or being ready to toilet train is only once your child has the cognitive development to stop what they are doing (often playing) and get to the toilet in time to go all by themselves. This means removing layers of clothing along with their underpants.
7 signs that your toddler is ‘toilet ready’
1. Consistent bladder and bowel movements
2. Control of sphincters
3. Ability to dress and undress
4. Physical ability to get dressed and undressed to go to the toilet
5. Ability to sit still long enough to sit on the toilet
6. Ability to stop what they are doing and get to the toilet in time
7. Ability to communicate what they are doing and that they need to go to the toilet
Your toddler doesn’t need to show you all these signs before they’re ready for toilet training. Remembering that you have no control over when your toddler is ready and that you cannot force them into learning to use the toilet. They’ll resist, it will take you much longer and you will both just end up frustrated.
Mothercraft Nurse, Chris Minogue suggests trying in the Summer closest to when they turn 2.5 years old. It is often much easier to try when there are less layers and you can spend consistent days at home working through it together.
There will be accidents, and that’s ok. Your toddler needs to feel supported through this process and not rushed. There really isn’t a medal for those who have the youngest babe toilet trained, so take your time.
Finally, it’s important to note that night time toilet training will often come later. Some children are still in night time pull ups until they are much older.