Baby

The ABC of toilet training

You are about to embark on an important life stage of your little one. Although it is possible for everything to go smoothly, still expect a few surprises on the way to toilet training!

Our mothers prided themselves in the fact that their babies were toilet trained by the time they were one! It is theoretically possible, but it’s not advised to force a child to be potty trained before he's ready. To put the odds on your side, there are steps and rules to follow, although there are no guarantees!

8 out of 10 children become spontaneously toilet trained. Girls have a tendency to be potty trained sooner than boys.

What age?

There is no concrete answer to this question because there is a considerable amount of variables to take into consideration. First of all, it is during his second year, between 16 and 24 months, that your child becomes physically and psychologically mature enough to control his sphincters. More often than not, it is between the ages of two and four that the he will truly engage in the process. This should take from three to six months.

Bladder control does not always coincide with bowel control. Even if your child can stay dry at night and during the day, he could also wet the bed for many months and even years. If one of the parents suffered from bed-wetting when he/she was younger, the child has a 44% chance of suffering from the same thing. The risk goes up to 77% if both parents had the problem during their youth.

Even if the situation is inconvenient, there is no need to panic before your child is four years old. At that age, a doctor will be able to tell you if there is a problem or a disease, like diabetes, that is stopping your child from staying dry. 

Basic bed-wetting is when a child has never succeeded in controlling his bladder completely . This is more frequent with boys. It affects 10% to 15% of 5 year-olds, 6% to 8% of 8 year-olds and 1% to 2% of 15 year-olds.

How to know when it’s time?

The right time for children to be toilet trained should not be determined by their age. It is not solely up to you to decide when it’s the right time to be potty trained! Your child must have gone through some development stages before he's ready to move on to this next step. Youmust consider his motor, language, social and behavioural skills, and even the type of relationship he has with you.

Your child is probably ready if he ….
  • Can stay dry in his diapers for periods of 2 hours or longer during the day;
  • Is able to let you know when he needs to use the potty chair;
  • Understands and follows basic instructions;
  • Can walk to the potty chair (or adapted seat);
  • Is stable when sitting on the potty chair;
  • Wants to please you;
  • Wants to be independent.
Make sure you are able to devote the time and energy necessary to encourage your child on a daily basis.

Toilet training is not something that is learned overnight and depends greatly on your child’s self-confidence.

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